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Lumiere

Lumiere aims at improving the lives of slum dwellers in African by allowing them to generate their own energy.

Photo of Maureen Molly Basemera
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Approximately 2.5million of Kenya’s population live in the different slum settlements in Nairobi. With Kibera being the largest slum in the world, it holds about approximately 500,000 slum dwellers and holds the attention for our research and energy inventions. Upon research we realized the biggest problem in slums is currently affordable energy supply in such areas .Only one fourth of Kibera’s population have access to clean water and electricity.
   
 
The steam generator is a generator that produced electrical energy directly from cooking steam. For this generator to work well, the sauce pan lid has to be modified to direct steam from the cooking pot to the generator. Further a battery will be added to help store the energy for future use. With this generator, the slum dwellers can work for longer hours since they have more light, their children can study in the night and in the long run, breaking the cycle of poverty. Using steam from cooking will help the government reduce the carbon emissions that are realized every year by the power plants.
 
Slum dwellers will be required to pay a minimum of $10 monthly, weekly or bi-weekly given their strength of income. This will generate a total of $240 after two years. Given the cost of the generator being $196, a profit of $44. This money is not inclusive of a lot of costs such as transportation, installation and the likes. However, to subsidize the generator for slum dwellers, large institutions will be encouraged to use this generator given that it will bring more benefits for them. The institutions will buy the generator at $300 each. In both the first and second year, we are expected to make a loss. This is because, payments by slum dwellers will be completed by the second year. In the third year, a profit of $3000 will be obtained from the sale of the generators, given that 6000 steam generators are sold. The graph below indications the profits.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

We are targeting to reach out to slum dwellers in different slums. However, we hope to start with Kibera in Kenya. This is because they face the hardest times in accessing energy for their daily activities and they also cook on a daily basis.
This idea excites them as it is cheap, reliable and requires only their cooking. With Lumiere steam generators, slum dwellers only need to pay in installments of $10-$20 until the sum of $240 is covered. From then, they will not have to pay again for the generators as it will be free to them. This is very different from the other sources as they require them to pay every month of their lives till they die. Further, as long as they cook, they will be able to generate the right amount of energy needed for their homes.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

What makes “Lumiere” an original idea is its use of steam from cooking to generate electricity. As previously stated, electrical steam has been used to power homes and other appliances for decade. Other energy innovations include the usage of coal to generate steam, which is not environmentally friendly. In order to create an idea that benefits the people and their environment, the focus of this project is to focus on the steam generated through cooking. Since cooking is a daily activities carried out by slum dwellers, the stem generators would be powered consistently and thus there would be no issue of inconsistent supply of energy. When steam is generated it passes through a tunnel, depending on the pressure and force, it would spin a steam turbine which drives an electrical generator. The steam energy is then converted into mechanical energy and finally to electrical energy. This mechanical energy can be also stored in batteries and later used when needed.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we plan to register in the future.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

We are a diverse team that is very passionate about improving the living standards of individuals in our community. With several problems that Africa has, we realized we are the generation that holds the key to solving several problems. Poverty being the biggest problem that is also prevalent in our communities, we thought improving living standards would help reduce poverty. This will be done through using the generator.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Planet and prosperity is explained through several ways in this project. As already mentioned, we offer slum dwellers prosperity through allowing them to producing their own energy and rely more on themselves and not the government to provide them with electricity.
The steam generator would improve the electricity supply in the slums and this would ignite and expand the commercial factor in the slum. Small scale entrepreneurs and business owners would benefit from this innovative idea as more activities can be carried out in their respective businesses. It would reduce operating costs and would provide a greater return on investment. The generators would also reduce the consumption of fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. This allows businesses to contribute in the fight against global warming in the long run reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources of energy generation.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

A few partners we are hoping to connect with are the customers in this case the slum dwellers, the government, large institutions, the producers, power pro, Aggreko and several others. W

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The provision of steam generators to the slum dwellers would bring economic and social value to both the inhabitants and the community.
The steam generator would improve the electricity supply in the slums and this would ignite and expand the commercial factor in the slum. Small scale entrepreneurs and business owners would benefit from this innovative idea as more activities can be carried out in their respective businesses.

Geographic Focus

Africa especially slums

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

12 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

9 comments

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Photo of Sophie Lyman
Team

What a great idea! Is this technology to turn steam into electricity already on the market, or is it in stages of development? One question is whether most people have lids to their pots (that would have to be modified for your steam generators) - in my experience with pots for solar cooking, women did not always own lids to large pots they used on the fire. Our project is launching a social enterprise to sell renewable energy cooking solutions in partnership with a University in Haiti. Your technology can also be considered a renewable energy cooking solution. Perhaps we could learn from each other!

Photo of Maureen Molly Basemera
Team

Oh yeah that is true. We could learn from each other. So this is an Idea that has been tasted using different materials. We are currently looking for funding to start the project. So with the lids, we are providing it as part of the package depending on the average pot size the household has. We given them one and there is a need for them to purchase another one at certain price. Let me know more about your idea so that we could share ideas.

Photo of Sophie Lyman
Team

Our idea is launching a social enterprise to manufacture and sell renewable energy cooking solutions (solar, biogas, and heat-retention cooking) in Haiti, integrated into a Haitian University's BioScience degree program to ensure human-centered, inclusive design. The University is also planning on adopting many other types of eco-technologies as it grows - perhaps even these steam generators. Have you studied to what extent users adopt your steam engine technology, and what cultural hurdles might need to be addressed? Perhaps partnering with a University or organization doing anthropological work might help with these issues.

Photo of Maureen Molly Basemera
Team

Oh yeah, we are partnering with my uni.

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