Google, IEEE offer $1 million as prize for a laptop sized power inverter

Google and IEEE start 'Little Box Challenge' to build a compact power inverter for home that can transform renewable energy into a power source.

Published Date
28 - Jul - 2014
| Last Updated
28 - Jul - 2014
Google, IEEE offer $1 million as prize for a laptop sized power i...

Google in partnership with Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), has started a 'Little Box Challenge' to design and build a kW-scale power inverter.

The device can be used to convert renewable energy, including solar and wind, into current for home and vehicles. The Little Box challenge is that the new device has to be of the size of a small laptop.

"We are looking for someone to build a kW-scale inverter with a power density greater than 50W per cubic inch. Do it best and we will give you a million bucks," Google said in a blog post.

Google believes that this will help "change the future of electricity". "We believe that inverters will become increasingly important to our economy and environment as solar PV, batteries, and similar power sources continue their rapid growth," Google said.

Google added that the new power inverter would help increase efficiency, while bringing down costs. It stated that by making the power inverter smaller, would help bring electricity to the most remote parts of the planet.

"A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car's battery. Or enable advances we haven't even thought of yet," Eric RaymondBSE -2.39 % from Google's Green Team wrote.

The last date for registration for the 'Little Box Challenger' is September 30, 2014 and the grand prize winner will be announced in January 2016.

Google has been expanding its role in advanced energy and the internet giant has made investments in solar and wind projects to power its data centers. Recently the California based company has hired electronics engineers for their “Bottom Up Grid” project, which the company states aims to “fundamentally change the world of power.”

Source: Google