The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has developed a new power controller, which can be used for different home appliances using the technology used in the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa. The famous spacecraft is known to be the first to bring asteroid samples back to earth in 2010. It also boasts of an energy-efficient ion engine, which limits the amount of power it consumes by using 128 switches that regulate the heat coming from the aircraft.
A team from JAXA amped up this technology and translated it to a device, which enables home and offices appliances to reduce its power consumption. The team built a circuit that would control the energy output each appliance consumes so that it is regulated even when the electricity demand increases. An additional communication function was attached to the device and the feature allows information from the appliances to be extracted especially when there are changes in the demand for power. Appliances and gadgets, which have low priority in utilization, can automatically shut off their power such as when a hair dryer is being used and lights or even air conditioners will also be able to mechanically shut down.
Hayabusa project manager and professor Junichiro Kawaguchi boasts of the advantages of the device. “Because the controller can be installed on existing appliances, people can easily expand ways to save energy consumption. The device could control peak demand and help consumers lower their contract demands at offices and homes,” he said. Attaching the device to major appliances is also easy and does not demand major construction work. Currently, JAXA is looking for potential partners that would help the development team translate the invention to be used in actual industries.