Los Angeles, CA â€“ May, 2015 â€“ Local software engineer Markus Loeffler today announced a Kickstarter project to help consumers reduce dependency on the electric grid while saving on electric costs. â€œOne Fridge off the Gridâ€ was initially conceived during a power outage caused by severe storms in 2011. Loeffler was without power for days, and the food in his fridge spoiled. His son was unable to research homework assignments online. Loeffler was determined to avoid this situation again.
A year later I had a working prototype in my garage, and a solar panel mounted to the roof of my garage. Excited, I ran a long wire from my garage to the house. The images below show on the left my setup, and two of my tester installations. In case you are wondering: you can mix solar panels of different brands and types as long as they have the same voltage.
After four years of research Loeffler is introducing UNplug, a simple, inexpensive and fullyÂ automatic power savings solution. UNplug is revolutionary because it provides consumers with their own home-based power grid.
UNplug works with a single solar panel and battery to ensure uninterruptible power during good times and bad. A single system can provide power for a refrigerator, laptop and modem (approximately 1500 watts per unit). The design is future-proof since multiple UNplug units may be connected based on individual needs and budgets.
In addition to realizing uninterruptible energy security and real cost savings, UNplug users will help address environmental challenges. An average fridge/laptop/modem combination consumes approximately 622kWh per year â€“ dumping 326 pounds of CO2 into the environment! That’s an equivalent to almost 50 gallons of gasoline consumed.
Unplug includes a dashboard app for both iOS and Android devices, allowing home automation. Energy usage, CO2 savings and and cost savings are tracked online, in real time.
A successful Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1dfFaIg) will finance the final product development (including UL listing), manufacturing and testing. The product is scheduled to ship in October 2015.