YANGON - Panasonic will distribute its new solar lantern in Myanmar starting in January.
Distribution of the lanterns is aimed at providing off-grid energy solutions to areas with limited electricity in Southeast Asian countries. They will be sold at a price of around Ks 50,000 (S$64) in supermarkets and grocery shops across Myanmar.
The 3.5-watt solar panel and built-in rechargeable battery enable the lantern to create and store renewable energy during the day. It doubles up as a light and power source at night, with the added capability to charge small mobile devices such as mobile phones via a USB port.
"Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the electrification rate in Myanmar is very low. Many still rely on kerosene lamps for light, be it for education or healthcare purposes," said Hisakazu Maeda, chief representative of Panasonic Asia Pacific's Myanmar branch.
"Kerosene lamps pose as fire hazards and contribute to health problems, emitting toxic fumes. The solar lantern was designed and developed to address these societal gaps in developing countries like Myanmar."
Under fine weather conditions, the solar lantern is fully rechargeable in approximately six hours. Through the use of sunlight, it contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission. The lantern's adjustable brightness setting allows it to run between six to 90 hours when fully charged.
The multi-functional product has a USB port, which allows for the charging of mobile phones, an increasingly popular communication device in areas with limited electrical infrastructure.