Google is offering $1 million to anyone who can take a power inverter — a device used to convert energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles, and wind — and shrink it to 1/10th its normal size. Such devices are normally the size of a picnic basket, according to Google’s blog.
It’s called the Little Box Challenge, and it’s being offered in partnership with IEEE. According to the blog, “A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car’s battery. Or enable advances we haven’t even thought of yet.” The challenge requires teams to register by September 30, 2014 in order to submit a technical approach and application by July of next year. The grand prize winner won’t be announced until 2016.