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This Rechargable Battery Could Enable Homes To Be Taken Off Power Grid

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Eli-Home can help make better use of solar power cells and provide a backup source in the event of outages

A Chilean start-up has developed a rechargeable battery that could help homes make better use of renewable power sources and reduce their dependence on the public power grid.

Eli-Batt is currently taking pre-orders for the Eli-Home, a lithium-based battery developed with the University of Chile, which it plans to ship by the end of this year.

smartphone battery

The device arrives at a time of growing demand for rechargeable batteries that can be used to power electric cars or to store power derived from sources such as solar radiation or wind.

The battery is “intelligent”, meaning users can program how it stores and provides power, for instance using it to store energy from photovoltaic panels during the day that can then be used at night, leading to more efficient power use, Eli-Batt said.

Users can also set priorities for which devices the user wants provided with power, according to the company.

The device also allows users to store and sell power derived from solar panels, according to Eli-Batt.

The battery can be monitored via the web or mobile devices and, like smart meters, allows users to track their power usage.

Backup power supply

It can be connected to the local grid and used as a backup power source in the event of a power outage, the company said.

Each unit weighs 5.2Kg and multiple batteries can be managed in a single home, according to Eli-Batt. The units are portable, and can be taken elsewhere in the event of a natural disaster, according to the company.

Electric car maker Tesla last year launched a battery for homes called Powerwall, constructed using the same batteries Tesla produces for its electric vehicles. While Tesla is selling its battries to solar panel installers, Eli-Batt sells directly to end-users.

Chile, which with Australia produces most of the world’s lithium, on Monday laid out new policies for developing its reserves of the element, at a time when rising battery demand is pushing lithium prices upward rapidly.

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