By Evan Ackerman
If you’re one of those uber-hip hipsters with the solar panels on your roof, I envy you and your free electricity. But until somebody invents a solar panel that generates electricity in the dark, there are always going to be times when you’ve got more electricity than you need (high noon) and times when you’ve got less electricity than you need (low noon, aka high moon). If you’ve been generating excess energy, you’ve probably been selling it back to your energy company at a tidy profit, but that doesn’t exactly help you achieve grid independence… The way to do THAT would be through some kind of energy storage system, which lets you store up excess energy and use it when you need it. This is just what Panasonic would like to install in your house, in the form of a giant lithium ion battery.
This household battery, which Panasonic says should be able to power the average home (whatever that means) for a solid week, will be available sometime in 2011. It will be somehow hooked up to your TV, which will allow you to monitor energy usage. We don’t yet have any information on how much this thing will cost, but I bet it’ll be hard to justify in terms of storage benefits and cost savings (and possibly convenience) versus the up-front cost of the system. As with most micro-energy generation systems, it’ll probably end up being more of a feel-good measure than an actual boost to efficiency, but at least it’ll keep your computer on for an extra week when the revolution comes and there’s no more grid power.
VIA [ Physorg ]