CE+T Power wins Google’s “Little Box Challenge” for compact inverter

March 01, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Power specialist CE+T Power (Wandre, Belgium) has won the Google and IEEE Little Box Challenge. The company was awarded the $1 million prize at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. on 29th February 2016, after its winning design was chosen over 18 other finalists and hundreds of applicants from all over the world.

The Little Box Challenge was launched in 2014 after Google teamed up with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in search of a new technology that could successfully shrink an inverter from the size of a cool-box to the size of a small laptop. The illustration above shows, in order; one of CET+T Power’s TSI Bravo 2 kW inverters; a package modelling what the challenge asked for; a block of note-papers; and the inverter that won the prize.


CE+T Power’s innovative solution is a huge improvement on the competition’s original specification of 50W per cubic inch. Boasting a powerful 145W per cubic inch, the CE+T Power winning design is also only 13.77 cubic inches (225 cm ³) in size – smaller than a block of post-it notes, which is far smaller than the brief requested – and uses technology already available on the market.


Google invited Robert Eyben, CEO at CE+T Power, to represent CE+T Power in Washington D.C. and accept the award.


“Winning the Google Littlebox Challenge presents us with a unique head-start to address the crucial improvements required in power backup,” said Mr. Eyben. “We identified some critical and necessary design alterations and through this innovation, we will change the future of electricity, power and even Smart Home technology.”


Details of the technology employed are yet to emerge, but the company summarises the results it achieved in this table;


CE+T Power plans to use its winning design – and 20 years’ experience in the field – to improve power backup solutions for business critical applications. The team began working on their designs in September 2014, and the final stage of the competition saw it being rigorously tested at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado between October 2015 and January 2016.

CE+T Power was the first company to introduce the concept of a modular inverter in the late