The after-effects of storm Gemini have made generators the first item on this year's wish list for hundreds of thousands of people without power as the distribution system fails under the icy winter onslaught. It certainly gives one pause for a thought or two about the benefits of distributed renewable power systems.
Our thoughts are with those who won't see these holiday wishes while they struggle to regain the benefits of modern life. And our thoughts are with those future generations who may not benefit from our quality of life without significant changes in the way we get and use power and raw materials. These thoughts simmered in the background as we found this candle-powered card from the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM).
Of course, the use of energy and raw materials for the production of discardable electronic gadgets such as this card raise concerns. In the case of Fraunhofer, we assume the card merely serves double duty for a project that would have transpired for reasons more serious than holiday greetings.
Conductive ink printed onto the cardstock created the electronic circuit, and the standard electronic components are held in place by a conductive adhesive. The illumination of the candle is sufficient to power the high efficiency solar cell, lighting up the tiny LEDs that decorate the Christmas tree.
We share the wishes expressed by the folks at the Fraunhofer Institute with all our readers, and we hope that research there and elsewhere will keep providing mankind the technological breakthroughs to stay one step ahead of curve on sustaining the joy of the holiday season for all future generations. Happy holidays.