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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m
There's a million dollars in prizes up for grabs from Google and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for the clever clogs who can build a direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) converter that's the size of a laptop.
The Little Box Challenge aims to solve one of the dilemmas in modern-day power supply – that many sources, such as solar panels, output DC, as do batteries, but that most appliances in homes and businesses expect AC*.
To convert DC to AC to power a building, a bulky inverter is needed. But Google is unhappy with the state of today's offerings, hence the contest to build a better inverter. "We hope The Little Box Challenge may lead to improvements not only in power density, but also in reliability, efficiency, safety, and cost," Maggie Johnson, Google's director of education wrote in a blog post.