Tesla Powerwalls could change your whole home (and your power bill), but they're still difficult to buy. Fortunately alternatives are slowly appearing on the market. Orison is one such alternative. Launched as a Kickstarter project earlier this month, Orison has already earned more than $US250,000 ($348,355) -- five times the amount requested. We had the opportunity to see the device at Mobile World Congress and were impressed by some of its very clever ideas.
The Orison home battery comes in two flavours. First is a traditional wall-mounted device similar to Tesla's Powerwall. The other is a stylised tower that resembles an expensive design hi-fi speakers. No matter its form factor, the battery packs in 2.2 kWh with a constant flow of 1.8 kWh. That's enough to to power an AC unit, a laptop and a television set for six hours, as well as a refrigerator for 24 hours a day. A simple online tool helps you figure out how many home batteries you should install to fit your needs.
The big deal with Orison home batteries is that they connect to their own cloud system to figure out which time of the day is the best to recharge. They consume electricity only when the kWh price is cheaper so that it can store the energy to be consumed at peak hours. And the process is completely automatic. An app lets users check how much money they have saved and see the general usage statistics from the device.
Whether they come in wall-mounted or tower form, the Orison batteries don't need installation. Just choose a location to place it in, plug the device in and you're done. The company also offer a ten years or 5000-recharge-cycle warranty.
Apart from its basic purpose, Orison batteries have some interesting gimmicks. The powerwall version has customisable LED backlighting. The tower form factor also has an integrated Bluetooth speaker and five 1.5W USB ports ready to charge your gadgets.
One caveat. Orison batteries are not cheap. The wall-mounted version will retail for $US1600 ($2229), and the tower version will retail for $US1950 ($2717), though you can pre-order either for a discount via Kickstarter. The first units for backers are supposed to arrive early this winter.
Top image: The Orison. The future has a pretty glow.