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.

Camping Chargers/Batteries

KaliPak soaks in the sun to create a powerful generator

When those dark and stormy nights blow through and there is no power available, everyone wishes that they had a good generator. KaliPak is a solar powered generator that is intended to provide power to individuals when the grid is down. Though the solar panel itself is not immediately available, it can also be charged via a 12V car-lighter socket or, when the grid is up again, using a regular electrical outlet. It appears that the only items that can be charged are those that are typically charged via a USB cable, since electrical outlets in conjunction with this item aren’t showing in the photos. However, there may be KaliPak adaptors available for purchase that can change that. The KaliPak app along with Bluetooth capabilities are required to determine the specifics on how much power the generator has left. The battery itself is a 39amp battery. As for mobile gadgets, keep in mind that in a natural disaster or emergency, Wi-Fi connections and cell phone towers will probably be as unavailable as electricity. This campaign seeks to raise $250,000 by December 29, 2014. Early bird backers get one product for $398 with expected delivery in August 2015.

Personal Transportation

Solar charging e-bike tackles the charging challenge

20140903033339-solarThe LEAOS is looking to have you reconsider exactly what an e-bike is. Two solar panels discreetly located on the back of the bike constantly drink in the sun so you don’t have to ever worry about the battery. You can’t notice the panels immediately, and that’s exactly how LEAOS wants it: the bike sports an carbon fiber, unibody design containing all the components. An automatic gear hub, mud guard, leather seat, LED lights, integrated display, and the ability to go up to 45km/h round out the package. Be glad it’s solar powered and not electric: with a $7,990 price tag, you need as much sun as you can get.


No matches? No problem. Sun Juicer offers campsite cooking

Sun JuicerFood cooked over an open flame tastes great on a cmping trip. But if you’re not in a hurry in the daylight hours, you can let our closest star handle some of the work for you. The Sun Juicer is a highly reflective parabolic dish that allows campers to cook their food with natural sunlight by concentrating the reflected heat. It only weighs about a pound and folds flat for some very easy storage. This will be great for camping, and it would also be useful in emergency situations in which the power is out. However, if more than two will be having dinner, additional Sun Juicers will be needed. Backers get one product for $70, with an anticipated delivery of December 2014.