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Backup Battery Power for your house!

I was talking to one of my favorite architects today about a project he’s designing in the country an hour outside of Austin and the subject of “Zero Energy” came up. I’m super excited to build a house that generates as much power as it consumes, but his project is a step beyond this. This house isn’t grid tied, so if you are using a solar array to provide power what do you do when the sun goes down? I’ve seen pictures of huge rooms full of car batteries, but I just read about a system called the ZESS 50 which sounds amazing. It’s a 50 kilowatt “battery” system that fits in a 4’x4’x8′ space and uses a chemical process called electroplating to store huge amounts of power. The company has a show home in the Beijing Olympics that’s not tied to the grid called Future House USA. Check out their website and if anyone goes to the Olympics please drop me a line if you can visit this display house. The article I read says the system retails for $30,000 and will be available for sale soon. Can’t wait to see this in the hall closet of a Risinger Home soon! -Matt Risinger