Saving energy with a Solar-powered Wii

With rising energy costs these days, we want to keep an eye on our energy usage and try to save money where we can. This doesn’t mean we need to skim on our simple pleasures, but it’s worth knowing what can save us money. Did you know that the Nintendo Wii only uses around 18 Watts of power when playing a game, compared to 180 Watts for an XBOX 360, or around 190 Watts for a Playstation 3? (source)

The boys over at Tom’s Games (of Tom’s Hardware fame) had a little too much time on their hands, and decided to build their own solar powered Wii game station! The unit comes with a large solar panel, a high capacity car-battery, an invertor (to get 12V to 120V a.c.), a high definition LCD screen and of course a Wii. Admittedly the finished unit doesn’t look too pretty. I’m sure some imagination and fibre glass design would result in a much more atheistically pleasing unit.

Since the Wii has wireless controllers, and certain games like Wii Sports can get a little energetic, it makes sense to play a few games outside. At least you won’t end up smashing that priceless family heirloom, although you might end up knocking out a garden gnome or two!

The total build cost was around $1,431.17, so you’ve got a lot of game playing to do before you save the equivalent in energy costs. But just think, with the solar-powered Wii, you can play for as long as you like without it costing you a penny in electricity.

This post was written by Dan Harrison from Dan is enthusiastic about saving the planet but also loves gadgets. He’s found that eco-friendly gadgets are a healthy compromise!

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