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Google Ventures invests in power-saving technology

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - Google Inc's venture capital arm on Wednesday announced an investment in an energy conversion technology that could save power in everything from consumer electronics to hybrid cars.

Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and other venture capitalists announced a $20 million round of funding for Transphorm, which cuts energy losses that result from converting alternating current, which comes out of wall sockets, to direct current, used by PCs and the like.

About 10 percent of energy lost in the United States occurs in conversions -- inefficient adapters on laptops heat up, for example.

The technology, which cuts conversion losses by up to 90 percent, would essentially save all the energy needed to power the West Coast if the entire United States adopted it, executives said.

Transphorm will begin rolling out products later this year, targeting computer data markets, they said. The company and investors did not detail the breakdown of investment by each venture capitalist.

(Reporting by Peter Henderson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)