ThinkEco Releases Smart Plug for Energy Management; Saves 10% Power
ThinkEco releases smart plug for energy management; Markets Simplicity.
ThinkEco, a start-up company based in New York, announced today the release of its "modlet," or modern outlet, a simple smart plug energy management solution that the company claims can cut a device's power consumption by 35 to 80 percent and power consumption in an office by up to 10% without any changes in employee habits. The ThinkEco smart plug looks like a white electric outlet and fits easily over a regular outlet. The modlet contains a networking chip that uses ZigBee to create a mesh network. The energy management system comes with a PC application that allows administrators to control their office's power consumption.
Although there are several energy management systems on the market, ThinkEco's system is one of a handful that focus on lowering wasted energy from plug loads. The system saves businesses money by turning off machines during hours when they are not in use, rather than leaving them on standby. Administrators can set a time at which each of the machines hooked up to smart plugs are turned off.
The power savings are considerable; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that standby power alone accounts for more than 10% of electricity bills. In pilot studies, according to the company, one of the businesses that used ThinkEco's smart plugs for energy management reduced its power bill by $65,000 per year. The company has tested its 'modlet' smart plug with 75 companies and, although the savings vary based on the number of modlets used, the payback period averages around only six months.
ThinkEco expects to release its modlet smart plug to consumers in the spring of 2011. And at a retail price of $40, it seems like a pretty economical energy management solution.