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Freeplay showcases new aid and development products at inaugural AIDF Asia-Pacific 2013

November 2012; Freeplay Energy, the leading supplier of wind-up and solar products designed specifically for use in areas with limited or no electricity supply, will be showcasing new products at AIDF Asia Pacific 2013, the Aid and International Development Forum held in Bangkok on 30th and 31st January 2013.

The UK-based company will exhibit its new Freeplay Energy Centre and Indigo Plus Lantern and expert staff will be on hand to discuss the products’ benefits and potential uses.

The Freeplay Energy Centre is a compact and simple to use solar powered lighting system and mobile phone charger which provides up to 16 hours shine time for one LED light bulb, or 8 hours for two LED bulbs. Each Freeplay Energy Centre kit is supplied with one 4-watt crystalline solar panel, a power pack with lithium battery and controller and two bright LED bulbs, each with a clear lens and connecting cables. The kits also have built-in overcharge and over-discharge protection and are designed to be up and running in minutes, providing ultra-bright light and eliminating the risk of fire that using candles or kerosene lanterns presents.

The Indigo Plus Lantern is charged by solar, hand crank and USB technology, supported by a built-in rechargeable NiMH battery, giving up to 60 hours’ constant shine time on a low setting. Nine ultra-bright white LED bulbs are positioned for optimum light efficiency and a dimmer control allows the brightness to be adjusted according to need. Furthermore, the Indigo Plus Lantern’s integrated emergency phone charger promotes communication in ‘off-grid’ environments.

Announcing the launch, Freeplay Energy’s Managing Director, John McGrath, said:

“We are delighted to be showcasing these two fantastic new products at AIDF Asia-Pacific 2013 and to be taking part in this much-anticipated inaugural event. I am sure our products will be of great interest to aid and development organisations working with the 1.5 billion people who live without a regular electricity supply.

“The Freeplay Energy Centre and Indigo Plus Lantern have been designed to provide sustainable, free energy and lighting for people who might otherwise need to use candles or kerosene lamps - with all their attendant risks - or use their scarce resources to pay for phone charging. The products can contribute to community development by supporting education and home working - providing light by which to read and do schoolwork in the evenings, or carry out income-generating tasks, such as sewing or mending tools. And they also complement our wide range of radios, flashlights, lanterns and chargers, all designed for use in aid and development, disaster relief and emergency preparedness environments.”

Freeplay’s range of products is currently being used by individuals and communities across South East Asia and Africa, and has been chosen by government agencies, international aid and development organisations, NGOs and small-to-medium scale charities to support a broad array of initiatives.

The Encore range of wind-up and solar radios was launched earlier in 2012 and includes a model with a 64GB MP3 record and playback function. Again, this product is available for the very first time at AIDEX 2012. Encore radios are now being used by a number of schools in Kenya to access educational broadcasts, broadening the range of information and opportunities available to students. Meanwhile, the Dimitra project, operated under the auspices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, is using Freeplay’s Lifeline radios to facilitate community development and help women in Niger and the DRC to share their experiences and increase their influence over local affairs. And in Burkina Faso, Freeplay’s products have been trialled by the Barika project, which has been set up by Onyx Development with the aim of improving rural communities’ access to goods which have a positive social value.

John McGrath concludes:

“Freeplay was born of the desire to share innovative wind-up technology with people in Africa who did not have an electricity supply, but needed access to information about healthcare and how to prevent the spread of AIDS. Nearly 20 years later, our products are still helping people to get the information, light and power they need to have a chance of fulfilling their potential, not just in Africa, but around the world. By showcasing our new Freeplay Energy Centre and Indigo Plus Lantern at AIDF Asia-Pacific 2013, we hope to ensure that even more people benefit from our wind-up and solar technology and we look forward to showing delegates how these brand new products can, alongside our existing range, support their invaluable work.”

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