Touted by its creators as the "world's largest solar-powered computer," it could offer a quantum leap for development across rural Africa. The Watly machine, created by an Italian-Spanish start-up of the same name, resembles a futuristic space capsule. But its mission is to provide electricity, clean water, and Internet services that could transform lives and economies across rural Africa.
One of the best places to harness that free, abundant, and environmentally friendly energy is a desert, but deserts, it turns out, come with a nemesis to solar panels: sand. The particulate matter that constantly blows across deserts settles on solar panels, decreasing their efficiency by nearly 100 percent in the middle of a dust storm.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light and Mayor Virg Bernero unveiled the city's first Solar Power-Dok picnic table today - complete with an umbrella designed to provide energy whenever it is placed outdoors in direct sunlight.