— Good Thinking
Yill is one wheely useful mobile office energy storage unit
Although HP and others are breaking new ground in notebook battery life, there are times when you might find yourself away from the grid for a bit longer than your laptop battery can last. A mobile energy storage unit like Yill, from Germany's Younicos, is said to be capable of autonomously meeting the power needs of a computer workstation for between two and three days on a single charge of its own quick-charge batteries. Deployment of the drum-like power houses throughout an office could even help save energy bills.
There are numerous reasons why you might consider using something like Yill. You may find yourself having to work for a few days in a remote location where a stable supply of power cannot be guaranteed. You might generate your own electricity from renewable resources, such as photovoltaic panels, and want to spend more time completely off-grid, even during days without sunshine. As a designer, you might want to minimize heat loss in a new office by eliminating the elevated floors or suspended ceilings usually needed for extensive cabling.
The standalone power storage unit is said to be capable of meeting the energy needs of a small mobile office for two to three days before its own rechargeable lithium titanium battery needs some juice. The battery pack benefits from quick recharge times (about four hours) and a long operating life. Yill can supply devices with up to 300 Watts of electricity, and stores about 1 kWh of energy.
Younicos says that when Yill needs some energy, it can be plugged into a charging station that draws power from renewable energy sources, or from the grid. Its 20.8-inch (530 mm) diameter wheels and a pull-out handle also give it mobility.
The Yill mobile energy storage unit, designed by Werner Aisslinger, will be launched during Milan Design Week from April 12 to 17.
About the Author
While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
All articles by Paul Ridden
There are so many great, forward-looking innovations on Gizmag it\'s always a downer to see backwards, stone-age Eco-Fluff on the same page.
Yes, it\'s hip. Glad I didn\'t have to front the manufacturing and marketing costs for this next in a long line of eco-flops.
Buying a product out of Green Sanctimony does puff up the ego and may get some chicks. But in the morning you will wake up to discover you\'ve been hoodwinked by your own trendiness into buying a motorcycle battery with great packaging.
Could be handy in places where electricity service is unreliable. Might have been interesting if pulling it from home generated power to recharge but that might have crowded out too much battery space. Having power sources designed to be easier to transport would probably have more applications outside offices than inside though.
How about a peddle-powered generator that goes under your desk, or a treadmill version that let\'s you stand and work?
Yeah, right. When I\'m going to a remote, off-grid location, I\'m really going to want to drag this thing around. I notice no one mentioned how heavy it is. Even Yill\'s website makes no mention of that salient piece of information. Simply put, a battery pack that big is going to weigh a lot, and that means it\'s really not portable except on smooth surfaces. Most places with smooth surfaces to roll it around on are on the grid, not off. No one\'s going to take this thing hiking with them.
As for using it in offices to eliminate the need for raised floors or drop ceilings, really? REALLY? I suppose these offices have no overhead lighting either? And no plumbing? Or fire alarms, HVAC systems, elevators, telephones, etc? All of which are going to require drop ceilings or raised floors.
And just how are these office users of this device going to recharge it every few days? Yeah, by plugging it in to the grid. It\'ll be many, man years, if ever, before solar and wind can provide all the electrical needs of a typical office, much less a whole office building.
Don\'t forget that charging this thing from the grid that wastes electricity, because the conversion of AC power to charge a DC battery is less than 100% efficient. Oh, and it generates heat--so much for that more efficient HVAC system.
Sigh. PT Barnum had it right: there\'s one born every minute. The number of situations in which this thing will truly be useful and cost effective can probably be counted on the fingers of my hands. Maybe one hand.
what a load. a solution looking for a problem if ever I saw one. It looks monstrous, heavy, and totally impractical to take anywhere except across the room (assuming a smooth floor).
and trying to imply that one or several of these would remove the need for a raised floor or suspended ceiling!!! please. how insulting.
It\'s a freakin joke to imply this idea is green unless you\'re charging it off grid the vast majority of the time.
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