UP students recycle old chargers, batteries for Yolanda victims

It’s always fulfilling to write about Filipino ingenuity and resourcefulness.

UP students recycle old chargers, batteries for Yolanda victims

By Kristine Angeli Sabillo

MANILA, Philippines – With many typhoon-ravaged areas still without electricity, a group of students from the University of the Philippines (UP) are now recycling old chargers and batteries into disposable energy sources.

The recycled units are able to charge small devices such as cellular phones, said UP Physics professor Giovanni Tapang, who formed “Project Lightline” with his students, in support of relief efforts for super typhoon “Yolanda” survivors.

“Project LightLine aims to help enable periodic communication with victims of calamity by recycling electronic waste,” its Facebook page said.



So far, their experiment has yielded a couple of the small devices. These will hopefully be followed by more than a hundred units to be given to typhoon-hit communities, along with food, water and other provisions supplied by relief groups. The disposable chargers are supposed to help typhoon survivors charge their phones and contact their relatives, even with power lines down.

“A group of physics students are now in my lab making small devices that will try to extract remaining energy in old batteries to enable the user to give at least one more charge or power a small LED device (for those with the technical bent search Google for ‘Joule thief’),” Tapang said in his last Facebook post.

He told INQUIRER.net that many of his students wanted to go to Eastern Visayas but couldn’t.

“Some of these students have already given old clothes, a part of their allowance and time to the relief effort…This project harnesses their technical know-how to serve those who are in need,” he said.

Because of its small size and versatility, the recycled charger becomes very useful during times of calamity, Tapang said.

“In emergencies like these, we usually don’t have new batteries on hand. This device can extract the remaining energy inside those old batteries so that you can send that text message or light up your way a few meters more,” he added.

Tapang said they are accepting volunteers and donations of battery holders, old or broken chargers, dynamo hand pump flashlights, switches, LEDs and other similar materials to be dropped off at F105 (VISSER) room at the National Institute of Physics in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Project Lightline said anyone can volunteer to help create the units but only 15 persons at a time may work at the lab.

Interested volunteers and donors may visit Project Lightline’s Facebook Page for more information.

At the height of typhoon “Yolanda,” now considered among the world’s strongest typhoons, provinces experienced black outs as strong winds and rain toppled power and communications lines.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Thursday at least 566 transmission towers and poles were leaning or toppled while seven substations remained without power.

Meanwhile, communication services are slowly being restored in affected provinces.

Read published article at http://technology.inquirer.net/31659/up-students-recycle-old-chargers-batteries-for-yolanda-victims


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