The aim of this self-lead product design research project, was to explore potential applications and existing products to integrate nuclear diamond batteries (NDB). Particularly, applications within Medical/Emergency, Mining and Military industries within Australia. To achieve this, real-world industry personnel were interviewed to help the researcher gain insights to potential products, end-users felt could most benefit from this technology. NDB's are small, Beta-voltaic energy sources, which have the ability to generate constant low voltage power for up to 25,000 years in storage and 4000-5000 years for active use. NDB technology harnesses the power of Carbon-14 naturally decaying and emitting Beta radiation.
From conducting the research with industry personnel, it was made evident that across Medical/Emergency, Mining and Military industries, there was a real need for long-lasting, reliable, durable and high performance emergency beacons. The Geo-Light's final design incorporates all of these essential criteria, by offering 4000-5000 years of active power supply, 2300 lumens of latest generation CREE LED light, a durable, waterproof and rugged body made of high-impact polypropylene and stainless steel and a pre-contracted GPS connection to Globalstar satellite systems.
Constructed from high-quality, recyclable materials such as HIPP and SS, the Geo-Light offers durability to withstand the toughest conditions in water, on mine sites and in life and death scenarios. Meanwhile, the durability of the device doesn't compromise on aesthetics, seamlessly appearing like it was made by the OEM to be attached to life vests, backpacks, wetsuits and any other mounting points the user finds an application for the device. With NDB's and the latest generation CREE LED's inside, the Geo-Light succeeds at innovating and pushing the limits of emerging technology, offering help and safety when users need it most.
As a young Industrial Designer, sustainability is taught to be a serious consideration in all design concepts. Considering the full life-cycle of a product is a vital design practice for our future, so it was important to explore the impacts that the Geo-Light could have over existing products on the market. NDB technology inherently promotes green energy and sustainability, both in the construction of the battery itself and in the products it is implemented in. The nuclear isotope in NDB's is Carbon-14, reclaimed from nuclear power plant waste material. When implemented into the Geo-Light, NDB's offer a huge improvement in product life span, with traditional Li-Po powered emergency beacons typically only having a shelf life of 3-5 years before the device is recommended to be replaced due to battery degradation. Because the NDB does not require recharging, it also reduces hardware required within the Geo-Light itself, eliminating the need for charging ports and port covers, which also means the main body of the Geo-Light can be easier and more elegantly waterproofed, reducing the number of gaskets and allowing for larger, more reliable gaskets which fully seal the gaps between mating points of component assembly. The Geo-Light is also modularly replaceable.