7 Solar Powered Inventions Solving 3rd World Problems

Knowing the fact that over one billion people don’t have access to electricity worldwide, socially and environmentally conscious scientists and investors are continuously creating life-changing technologies to solve the world’s energy problems. Solar is a valid energy source particularly in the third world where poverty is a main hindrance to technology adoption. Out of the many available products, we have chosen some of the most innovative products changing lives in the third world.

Eliodomestico Solar Still


Designed by the ingenious Gabriele Diamanti this household still is meant to bring clean and safe drinking water to families in developing countries. Its operation is fully solar powered, and thus there are no operation costs involved. Simply put, it works like an upside down coffee maker. At daytime, the sun’s heat raises steam pressure through a nozzle into a black watertight collection container. The container’s lid condenses the steam back into Freshwater ready for use. The Eliodomestico Solar Still delivers a guaranteed 5 liters of fresh water in a day, which is more than conventional stills that produce 3 liters merely. To top it all off, the Eliodomestico Solar Still is made of affordable, widely available materials making maintenance easy.



ReadySet Power System



The ReadySet power system is a solar powered battery kit made by San-Francisco based company Fenix International. Originally designed for Africa, it is rugged, durable, easy to use and able to generate amazing amounts of power at the lowest possible cost. It recharges in as little as 6 hours of sunlight and can even be plugged in on cloudy days!

On a full charge, the ReadySet Power System can charge countless devices including phones, tablets, Wi-Fi routers, fans and radios simultaneously. The technology in the ReadySet Power System is truly cutting edge. Its simultaneous charging can juice up to 5 iPhones and keep your iPad running for up to 12 hours of heavy usage.


LuminAID Light

Solar powered lantern LuminAID

The LuminAID Light is a super portable solar powered inflatable light. The LuminAID Light was created by Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork in response to Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010.

The light packs flat and can quickly inflate to create a lightweight, waterproof lantern that’s safe and sustainable. It provides a convenient 16 hours of LED light and quickly recharges in the sun. Moreover, it is also affordable making it widely accessible and made of environmentally friendly materials.

Designed specifically for disasters, the light has proved to be very useful in humanitarian relief having also been used in other disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Isaac.


Greenlight Planet Sun King


Coming in a range of options named Eco, Solo and Pro, Greenlight Planet’s line of Sun King power products combine innovation, durability, and practical functionality. Designed for consumers who need reliable performance in the most brutal rural environments they are made to be hardcore with LFP batteries boasting a five-year lifespan.

Their products come with either a real-time LCD or LED screen clearly displaying power usage data to prevent abrupt and undesired outages. A days charge will give you up to 45 hours of light that’s ten times brighter than conventional kerosene lamps.

Apart from the light, Sun King power products include a useful mobile phone charging unit which is an invaluable addition to the third world. Savings from not buying kerosene significantly reduce household spending allowing for more suitable use of money in homes.


Panasonic Solar LED Lantern


Announced by the Tech giant Panasonic in October 2013 the solar LED lantern came as a welcome inclusion in the solar light product category. The lantern is particularly useful since it emits 360 degrees of light enabling it to light an entire room effectively.

The Panasonic Solar LED Lantern is charged by a solar panel within a short six hours. It is portable and comes with a convenient carrying handle. Apart from lighting the lantern can also charge USB-capable mobile phones (this includes all smartphones and iPod) in approximately two hours depending on phone’s battery capacity. Through smart design, it also shields against dust and water while charging.

The Solar LED Lantern launched first in Kenya, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.


d.light S20


The S20 is built by d.light, a company aiming at improving the lives of the two billion people in the third world living without access to reliable energy. Purposely created to replace kerosene lamps, the S20 provides up to eight hours of clean, bright LED light. The lights are designed to be user-friendly and functional having a detachable handle and providing 360-degree light.

On top of the S20 is a solar panel for quick charging. The lantern is also meant to be durable and impact resistant. Brightness of the lights can also be regulated into two settings to conserve power. The lantern is full of convenient design such as a glow in the dark power button and a battery level indicator for efficient use.



The economies of most countries in the developed world are highly dependent on agriculture. SunWater, founded by Paul Polak, aims to improve the lives of millions of people living in such countries. By providing affordable, running-cost free solar powered water irrigation systems SunWater significantly improves the lives of farmers living in rural zones.

SunWater irrigation systems can bring water to a 2.5 hectare plot enabling growing of much-needed cash crops. Using readily available flat-plate mirrors, SunWater cuts irrigation costs by up to 80%.The technology directly raises the living standards of the rural farmers as well as keeping their environment clean by producing zero emissions.


More innovative products are being developed for the provision of clean energy and water for the third world. Thanks to alternative energies, it’s easy to see a future where water and energy problems are unheard of.

Know of another great product we missed? Please comment below, we would love to hear about them!