A student at the Rhode Island School of Design has come upon an ingenious solution to a major energy problem — phantom power. The charging of devices such as cell phones, cameras and laptops is increasing the amount of energy consumed in the U.S. These devices continue to draw energy even after they have been fully charged.
Conor Klein, a RISDE student, was inspired by the physiology of the leech which ejects itself from its host when it becomes full of blood. The device is called the Outlet Regulator and it uses "... a timer circuit and electromagnetics" to trigger the plug release, thereby guaranteeing that energy is not being wasted overcharging devices.
With the ever-growing number of rechargeable devices in the home, Conor's simple invention could take a significant dent out of energy consumption in the U.S. But alas he's still in school, so it may be quite a while before the Outlet Regulator is available at a Radio Shack near you.
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