Thursday, April 27, 2006

GridPoint Protect - TiVo for Electricity

There's a new product on the market from a company called GridPoint. It functions like a TiVo for electricity, allowing you to purchase and store electricity during offpeak hours, and thereby shaving money off your monthly electricity bill. Check out the article about GridPoint on CNN.

The device, called GridPoint Protect, is the size of a small file cabinet and connects to the circuitbreaker panel. (The company also offers a lower-capacity version designed for homes, which costs $10,000.) A built-in computer powered by a Pentium chip will make intelligent purchase decisions, buying when prices are low, then storing the electricity for later use. That will make it possible to run your company during the workday with cheaper electricity that you purchased at 3 A.M. Corsell, 28, estimates that his device will shave a business's electric bill by about 15%. Assuming monthly charges of $2,500, the system would pay for itself in less than four years.

Because it stores electricity, it can double as a backup generator that is safer and faster than many models currently available.

Anyway, it's an interesting concept. We'll see if it actually flies.


Gigi said...

Hmmm. A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) with another computer. Doesn't sound like anything new to me. Besides the industry is already using UPS as stand alone device and in conjunction with generators (for that 10 second start up time)

So if it uses all the electricity it store by say 10am, and then you have a power outage at 4pm. You won't have anything left at 4pm.

Besides 'a SMALL file cabinet'? 24”(w) x 25.6”(d) x 52”(h) Wow my definition of small was way off.

Ok, I looked it up too. It's only rated 120V and 3.6kW. In other words that's 2 fully load 20A breakers or 2 full size refrigerators for under 2 hours. It doesn't sound too efficient to me.

Ha, what a joke. (well you can tell that I'm an elec. engineer already.)

I think it will do better in a residential market, but not commercial, and not to replace a generator.

IRA said...

Whoosh. That's the sound of your comment going straight over my head :-) Can you tell that I am *not* and electrical engineer?