By Rusen Kumar
NEW DELHI: Delhi-based ECCO Electronics Pvt. Ltd. has developed a 5-in-1 multipurpose solar lantern –ECOODiva. ECCODiva is a multi-purpose light source that has been designed to cater to a large requirement for light and charging power, especially for people who have limited or irregular access to other forms of electricity. Product is fit for both rural and urban markets where it can be used as a Torch, Portable light, Wall Mount in kitchen, ceiling light, street light or as a Night Lamp or lantern. Ecco Diva provides 10 Hour battery back-up in the highest Brightness mode, and a 250 hour Battery back-up in the Night-Lamp or Lantern Mode.
In an exclusive interview with Rusen Kumar, Editor, INDIACSR, Satish Jha, an investor and a board member at ECCO Electronics Pvt. Ltd, speaks about ECCODiva and its uniqueness. Excerpts:
How sustainable is ECCO DIVA ?
Ecco Diva is not only sustainable, it is also an eco-friendly product that uses Virgin ABS and diffused poly carbonate lenses. It is suitable for both urban and rural markets as the simplicity and re-configurability of the form enables multiple uses. It also meets the standards such as ISO 9001:2008 and fulfills the criteria of the life cycle assessment.
Is it an Indian product?
Ecco Electronics is an Indian company and manufactures its products keeping in mind the needs of the communities we operate in and endeavors to improve their socio-economic status.
Is it a green and social product?
ECCODiva is a multi-purpose light that has been designed to cater to the requirement for electricity, especially for people who have limited or irregular access to traditional forms of electricity. The primary color of the ECCODiva is “Chlorophyll”, which is a vibrant Green, symbolic of a GREEN Product, a GREEN FUTURE and wealth, happiness and prosperity and simultaneously provides an alternative to other neutral colors of Grey, White and Black. ECCO believes in the values of being less wasteful and respectful towards the world we live in. Every process is simplified and adapted by looking ahead into the future of its impact on the environment and society. As we move towards building a more responsible, sustainable and viable future, design’s value can no longer be measured in terms of just beauty and functionality.
What is the USP of ECCO DIVA Multipurpose Solar LED lamps?
ECCODiva is one of our first products ergonomically designs based on values of Affordability, Efficiency and Usability. It is clever, playful, portable, delightful and above all, a multipurpose light. ECCODiva is an energy efficient multipurpose solar light that houses the battery, electronics and the Light Unit in such a way that makes it simple and user friendly.
ECCODiva works in various modes such as Torch mode, Ceiling mode, Reading mode, Wall mount and Portable mode which can be fixed up in any environment. It can be charged by both AC and DC current where it can even charge your Mobile phones, Tablets, Radio, GPS etc. It uses Lithium Ion Battery with Smart Battery Indicators and microcontroller which provides four levels of light. It has a unique feature of Solar Charging with Maximum Power Point Tracking and can withstand high voltage fluctuations.
How is your product competitive in terms of product price?
We make the best quality products at the most affordable prices. Feature for feature, our products out-scope any in the market today for a price that is hard to beat. Isn’t that what competitiveness means?
How it is referent from other “solar lamps” available in the market?
We deliberately moved away from the 360 degree conventional lantern design which owes its formal evolution to the inherent limitations of kerosene, wick and wind protection. The LED, which is the only unidirectional source of light, can be leveraged to direct the light optimally to the area of interest so that a lower power consumption can deliver a better quantum of light. This also allows the design of the light to be looked at completely afresh.
The light source has been designed to provide the most optimal amount of light to suit all functions and the intensity is adjustable in 4 steps – from a night light to a strong source. The wide light beam has been designed to give a uniform spread of light along with a diffractive ‘glass’ that smoothly spreads the light so that the point source LED does not harm the eye.
The Power controller can take diverse sources of unregulated power (such as Solar PV cell, Cycle dynamo or a mains power adapter) and charge its internal battery very efficiently by adapting the power draw to the capability of the source to deliver power. The stored power is then used to drive the LED in a very efficient manner. The technology developed for this allows us to use smaller rating Solar Panels and batteries to reduce the overall product cost and yet deliver a high intensity of light. Besides these functions the ECCODiva also functions as a mobile charger..
What was the driving force behind designing and developing ECCO Diva Multipurpose Solar LED lamps?
Keeping in mind the implications at global level as well as consumers’ need, ECCO is an endeavor to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. Light being one of the basic and vital needs for survival after air, food and water, it is the sustainable need of the time “To see things in a new light.” Light is a symbol of power and now has become the necessity for empowerment and livelihood and there are still large areas across the country which have no electricity or limited access to electricity. It is a measure taken by Ecco to bring light to their lives who have been deprived and are still facing challenges.
Why do people need to have “USP of ECCO Diva Multipurpose Solar LED lamps” in their household?
It is fit for both rural and urban markets where it can be used in Torch mode, Portable light, Wall Mount in their kitchen, as a Night Lamp using its 1st level. These consumer electronic products are reliable since the intake of voltage is very low and can also withstand large fluctuations. ECCODiva, the product, is also used to run portable devices like charging of mobile phones, tablets, FM radio, etc. You can save a lot amount of electricity by using this and contribute towards the revolution of saving our planet.
What do you think is the future of solar in India? What are your views about “Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission”?
Solar energy is not just an alternate source of electricity but also reliable, scalable and simple solution to address global warming. Being a Renewable Source of energy it will last without causing any harm to our environment. Sun being the basic source of light has been worshiped since the beginning of human evolution where solar energy was the first form discovered.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is an initiative taken to save our planet Earth as it is the basic source of our needs. It is a step ahead towards the sustainable development of our world and our growth based on clean source of energy saving our resources for future generation.
It stands up against the issues of climatic change which is a big concern across the globe. India being an agricultural country, where most of the economy depends on agriculture makes it our social responsibility to save it.
What technology are you using? How is your technology better than others who make similar products and– what research has gone into this?
One of the key advantages of the ECCODiva’s electronics is the fact that it is much more energy- efficient than most other lamps in the world. The Patent has been applied for Micro-Controller based electronics which allows users to charge the light from an option of Mains Grid based Power supply, Solar Panels and other Human Powered charging sources.
Another unique feature of the electronics is that it allows the lamp to be charged from anywhere between 90V to 280V, since in India and many other developing countries Main Grid based Power supply is so un-reliable. Ecco Diva provides 10 Hour battery back-up in the highest Brightness mode, and a 250 hour Battery back-up in the Night-Lamp Mode. These requirements from the electronics are mapped according to the study of uses of these modes based on research.
Another unique feature of the ECCODiva is Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm based charger controller that allows Solar Charging from Dawn to Dusk, unlike a lot of solar products that need the sun-altitude to be higher for efficient charging.
ECCODiva has a salient feature of flexi charging that helps to charge it with electricity, irrespective of varying voltages, as well as the included Solar Panel. The ECCODiva will charge with any Power Adapter from 7V to 24V, that’s lying around in your House. The Charger provided will charge from anywhere between 90V to 270V in less than 5 hours. It also provides benefit of home lighting where up to 5 ECCODiva can be charged with one common solar panel for home lighting.
What were your primary barriers and challenges in setting up your venture?
The primary barriers and challenges are related to the cycle of design, imports, local compliance issues that have little clarity, challenges of manufacturing locally in absence of an ecosystem and most specifically the availability of small capacity solar panels.
Making cheaper and easy electricity availability in the deep rural areas is still a challenge for the Govt. How do you think the government can take advantage from your products?
As this is the mission of Ecco to cater to a large number of people who have limited access to electricity and we would like to help the government to face this challenge through our products which is easily affordable and where they can fit this in their livelihood programs. it can work in a way where every house in India has Ecco Diva where they see their world in a new light.
The use of solar energy in India could help to change this problem, in providing a clean, cheap source of electricity for many communities. What do you say?
To make India energy efficient this is one measure that will help save our world from the climatic changes and natural disasters that occur due to pollution.It will take out country towards sustainable growth where the resources do not go extinct and are saved for coming generation.
Do you see any opportunity in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) to take ECCO DIVA Multipurpose Solar LED lamps to the mass?
We are ready to do so with any government along with the corporate sector partners. Its triggered by a request by the Government and identifying a business model that is sustainable.
How can thencorporate sector can benefit by promoting “ECCO DIVA Multipurpose Solar LED lamps” under their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes?
We can co-brand ECOODiva for each companies CSR initiatives and wherever they have interest in lighting, power packages etc, in education or administration or any other activities, we may provide them with an ecco solution that meets all their goal.