A new battery made in Chile could allow households to take themselves off the power grid and store excess energy. Roselle Chen reports.
Living off the grid may soon be a possibility... if a young inventor from Chile has his way. Manuel Mata is CEO of company Eli-Batt, inventors of an intelligent lithium battery called Eli-Home. Developed with the University of Chile, they hope the battery will revolutionize clean energy consumption by allowing households to build their own electricity grids to power homes. What sets it apart from its predecessors, they say, is its self-charging capabilities that allows it to become its own electricity grid, storing energy for when it is needed from the sun and possibly selling off surplus energy. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CEO ELI-BATT SPA, MANUEL MATA, SAYING: "The most important thing with the system is that it can be charged with solar panels. That way when there is (UV) radiation and solar energy during the day you don't use it, you store it in the battery for the night time or afternoon when you use it. In reality your consumption is much more efficient, much cheaper because the sun's energy falls on everyone equally, it's free and it can be managed." The battery backs up any home electricity grid and can also be charged to ensure it never runs out of energy. Once installed, operation is easy. Any power cut will trigger a sensor in the battery to power up all household supplies. Mata says Eli-Home builds greater awareness of energy consumption in the home by allowing households to track usage. It can be monitored from a cell phone and it's transportable, so in the event of an earthquake or an emergency event, the battery can be taken anywhere. The makers are now looking for further investment and hope to launch Eli-Home on the market in the near future.