Baseload Buster uses PV panels to lower electric bills

Who doesn’t want to reduce their electric bills? But shifting one’s house entirely over to a solar panel energy system from a fossil fuel-based energy system can be costly.

The Baseload Buster from Amsterdam company Sun Invention offers a third solution that uses photovoltaics (PV) to convert solar energy into direct current electricity. The system includes four solar PV panels of 250 watts each that collect sun during the day to create a maximum of 1,000 watts of pure energy during daytime harvesting. Excess energy is then stored in Lithium batteries to deliver energy during the night or during especially cloudy weather. The PV panels run with an extra cell optimizer to avoid large losses during energy production.

Users can adjust the storage setting on their own based on factors including the region it is being used in, what season it is, and personal consumption level. Sun Invention is looking to raise €20,000 (~$24,200). Backers who spend €2,950 (~$3,600) will get the four panels including a new solar cell optimizer, and a 20-meter connection cable that connects the Baseload Buster connection box to the user’s existing home grid energy system. Country-specific AC connectors are ready to order also and versions for both 50 Hz and 60 Hz grids can be offered by the company.

The system sounds promising. But while the Baseload Buster is clearly less expensive than switching over entirely to a solar energy system, it is still too costly to attract mass consumer adoption. It is also hard to gauge just how much savings the user can expect to see each month.

Smart Home

Smart Outlet lends you the power of the plug

The fastest way to create home automation is to start off with the infrastructure. If your outlets are smart enough to be turned on and off automatically, so too can any device plugged into them.

The Smart Outlet from Newbeem is a wall outlet that adds more features than simply providing power. With a built in surge protector, this device turns any outlet into three outlets, one of those three being Wi-fi enabled. With that and the variable dimmer inside, any light or appliance can be plugged in and controlled manually using a phone or set up on a timer or programmable dimming pattern. Newbeem is trying to raise $20,000 CAD to fund mass production of the outlets. Picking up a Smart Outlet will only cost supports $30 CAD, with an expected shipping date of November.

Anything that makes smart electricity more accessible and easy to use is always a welcome addition to the market. Two questions stick out when viewing this product however. First, how does it differentiate itself from competitors like WeMo or Brightup? Second, why is only one of the outlets Wi-fi enabled? Without adequate answers, this may prove to be a product of middling quality at best.