Google's $1 million Green Idea Challenge
Internet giant Google has opened up submissions for the "Littlebox Challenge", in which contestants stand a chance of winning $1 million in prize money.
The competition challenges the entrants to shrink inverters that take direct current from devices such as solar panels and batteries and turn them into alternating current for use in homes and businesses.
The Littlebox Challenge ( https://www.littleboxchallenge.com/ ) Web site states that the device shrunk must be no bigger than a small laptop in volume and smaller than every other contestant's to win the prize.
"There will be obstacles to overcome; like the conventional wisdom of engineering," Eric Raymond of the Google Green Team states in an online post.
"But whoever gets it done will help change the future of electricity."
According to Raymond, a smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world;or allow users to keep the lights on during a blackout via their electric car's battery; or enable advances we haven't even thought of yet.
"We think it's time to shine a light on the humble inverter, and the potential that lies in making it much, much smaller," says Raymond.
In partnership with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers , Google's "Littlebox Challenge" will be open for submissions until 30 September 2014 .
Up to 18 finalists will be notified of their selection for final testing at the testing facility. They are required to bring their inverters in person to a testing facility in the US by 21 October, 2015 .
The Web site states that the grand prize winner will be announced sometime in January, 2016.
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