Moixa Takes Gadgets Off The Grid
If you use a computer or any other device, you know about DC power, since it's what they use -- it's why every power cord has one of those "wall warts," which house small transformers. The down side is that lots of energy gets wasted converting AC power to DC, mostly as heat.
A London company called Moixa Technology aims to solve part of this problem by offering solar panels that store power in electric vehicle-quality batteries. The system is run by a "smart meter" that can also tell the battery when the best time to actually start storing power is. The storage will keep your electronic devices off the mains while avoiding the wall-wart losses.
Moixa says it can save you 10 to 30 percent on your bills. The cost of the system is about £1,000-3,000 to start (or about $1,500-$4,500), and the average yearly electric bill in the U.K. has run between £345 and £388 per year ($545 to $621) between 2007 and 2010, according to the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change. Even with a 30 percent savings and a system at the lowest price it would take eight to nine years for the system to "pay for itself." But that assumes electricity prices don't rise that much in the interim, and the figures are average for the whole country. A household that uses electricity to cook and dry clothes with, for example, might get a faster return on investment.
Interestingly, the savings would be larger in the U.S. -- an average American household spends $1,000 per year on electricity. So the "break even point" would arrive faster, depending on the price of the system and how much electricity is used.
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