San Diego Business Journal

Home Battery System Plugs In To Your Outlet, Your Aesthetic

ENERGY: Easy-to-Use System Is Portable, Stylish And Needs No Installation Originally published March 10, 2016 at 3 p.m., updated March 10, 2016 at 3 p.m.
   
The Orison panel weighs 38 pounds and can be hung on the wall. Photos courtesy of Orison

The Orison panel weighs 38 pounds and can be hung on the wall. Photos courtesy of Orison

— Local tech startup Orison is going up against the biggest name in energy storage with a sleek new product that could rival Tesla’s innovation.

Local tech startup Orison is going up against the biggest name in energy storage with a sleek new product that could rival Tesla’s innovation.

Launched on Kickstarter this year, Orison has received an onslaught of media attention for its designer battery system that looks more like décor than a utility product. The company makes a home battery designed to store energy for later use, a technology that’s increasingly popular with the adoption of renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Tesla has positioned itself as a leader in the field, with its latest product (called the Powerwall) hitting the market this summer. After Tesla received a whopping 38,000 orders, the company announced it had already sold out of the system through the first half of 2016.

But the burgeoning energy storage space (cluttered with bulky and expensive systems) is primed for innovation. And Orison’s founder and CEO, Eric Clifton, says he’s offering something that Tesla is not.

Plug-and-Play Feature

Orison’s signature product is a home battery system that plugs directly into a wall outlet, a patented plug-and-play feature that no other energy storage maker can claim. It comes in two versions: a traditional wall-mounted device (similar to the Powerwall), and a stylized tower that resembles a modern lamp/hi-fi speaker hybrid.

The design is not just for show. Clifton says the tower battery has a built-in LED lamp and a Bluetooth speaker, making it a multipurpose piece of furniture rather than a utility eyesore. Soon, it will feature an induction charging station, where customers can place their cellphones for a wireless charge.

‘Lifestyle Piece’

“We wanted the system to be a lifestyle piece with more function and more appeal than just energy storage,” Clifton said.

The panels are backlit with customizable LED lights, and can be stylized with “skins” that transform the battery systems into wall mounted art.

Orison’s systems are small enough to be shipped to a customer’s home or office by FedEx and require no special skills or equipment to install — a huge competitive edge considering all other home battery systems (including the Powerwall) have to be installed by an electrician. In addition to being extremely easy to use, the battery does not require any special agreement with the power companies or the installation of an inverter.

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