The Mini Electric Timer if manufactured would allow consumers to set a different charging time for each of their personal electronic devices.
What problem does your design idea solve?
The Mini Electric Timer can prevent (1) overcharging of your electronic devices. Since the mini timer cuts off electricity when charging is completed. It also (2) eliminates most of the vampire electric power that rechargers draw when they are left plugged in 24/7.
What are the potential benefits?
1. It is not clear how much energy could be saved if the phantom energy wasted by electronics rechargers were eliminated. However, research indicates that perhaps 10 percent of residential electricity usage is phantom in nature. (http://blog.saveonenergy.com/2011/06/phantom-energy-a-huge-waste-of-electricity/)
2. Charging a battery way beyond the length of time recommended by the manufacturer does seem to shorten the useful life of the battery and therefore should be avoided when possible.
How is your idea novel or an improvement on what is currently available in the marketplace?
At the present time most people recharge their personal electronics using the chargers supplied by the product’s manufacturers. They either carefully monitor charging or just plug their phone or other device in at night and then unplug it in the morning. Most consumers leave their product rechargers plugged into a wall outlet all the time.
With the Mini Timer you just turn the dial to start electricity flowing to recharge your device. The timer will stop the flow of electricity at a preset length of time. The set pins can be used to change how long the mini outlet remains on.
What is the market potential?
Today every consumer has at least one electronic device that they need to charge daily.
Where would this idea be applied?
As a consumer product - it is perfect candidate for sale through a TV infomercial.
How does your design work?
The Mini is a clock timer that is small enough to be ganged together into a power strip. See the rendering. To operate you just:
1. Plug individual Mini Timers into a power strip.
2. Plug the rechargers that were supplied by each device manufacturer into each Mini.
3. Turn the dial on each mini to start electricity flowing to your rechargers.
4. Each Mini Timer will turn off the flow of electricity when the pre-set number of hours is completed – you can’t overcharge a device plugged into a Mini.
How would your product be manufactured?
The same equipment that is used to make lamp timers can be used to manufacture this product.
How would the production cost compare with products already in the marketplace?
Production cost should be about the same since all components are now found in lamp timers. A smaller clock mechanism however might slightly increase mfg costs.