Everyone gets charged up in the electricity game (no pun intended!). Grid integration, which is about the better and more efficient development of methods and ways to be able to deliver variable and renewable energy to the grid, has been facing many of the challenges for some time. Be it the old age of the current grid system, the rising retail prices of electricity or the problem of energy theft, the grid integration issues have gotten several of the government officials on their toes. About $220 billion worth of electricity revenue gets gobbled up every year, by technical and theft issues present in the grid worldwide.
Energy theft is an imbedded issue that demands an immediate attention. What makes the illegally tapping into power line possible? Well, it’s obviously the fact that some people seemingly can’t afford the electricity or the well-off companies don’t get bothered enough to actually pay for it (just like how they evade tax).
India, Brazil and some parts of Latin America seems to be suffering from the worst cases of this electricity theft. National Geographic also estimated that in Sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union and some areas of South Asia, electricity theft revenue reaches 50%. In USA, $6 billion are lost to illegal diversion of the yielding. Similarly, the losses are reckoned to as much as billions of dollars every year in India also.
Awesense- Modernized Distribution Power Grid
Firstly, what is the distribution power grid? It’s actually an interconnected system of wires that converts high voltage electricity from producers to medium and low voltage electricity, to deliver to consumers.
Awesense, which is a technology based startup, is doing its level best to tackle the crisis of grid integration issue, which includes energy losses, possible safety threats and hardware failures.
They are basically implementing the usage of loT, big data and Al to help bring the grid intelligence in the energy handling departments. With the help of sensors, data analytics and algorithm, they render utility services with the ability to detect energy theft and help improve the efficiency of their grid mechanism.
Awesense is a Vancouver based, Canadian clean tech startup founded in late 2009. Its founder and CEO Mischa Steiner-Jovic has previous- product development and management experience, thanks to his working in organizations like ECO fuel system, Newpoint Thermal and the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre.
The astonishing and inspiring factor regarding Mischa is his self-confidence. He has affirmed to have “brute force” and “selling technology that is 10 X better” approach to have a customer base as much as Awesense has today.
Products Offered By Awesense
Awesense offers solutions for grid issues which include True Grid Intelligence (TGI), mobile monitoring service and some hardware products including raptor sensors, third-party sensors and cellular network.
True Grid Intelligence
The TGI platform offered by Awesense, comprises of TGI Lite, TGI Aware and TGI Premium.
TGI is an integrated system of software and loT devices that helps utilities to exactly point towards the problem in the grid, in the matter of some days. It divides the grid into several parts and prioritizes only those parts which seem to manifest the main problem.
This technology has portable raptor sensors that are 10 inches tall, 1 inch wide, 4 inches deep and weigh less than a kg each. This wireless network can be easily clipped onto electric wiring network to assess the flowing current through the wire, and then this data is analyzed by the Awesense. Later the whole analysis along with the algorithm can be accessed by the customers through the integrated software.
Mobile Monitoring Service
The TGI sensors are connected through a wireless mesh network, and combined with a cloud-based application. This cloud-based analytical application and mobile loT and Al devices provide a cost efficient method which not only helps in reducing the loss but can also in recovering the proceedings.
This service also enables the customers to monitor the authentic and true details regarding energy consumption by comparing the current power distribution in the wiring and that of mentioned in the billing. Awesense’s mobile monitoring service is described as “quick, easy to deploy and not a capital expense.”
Total Equity Funding Raised
In Sep, 2010, Steiner-Jovic worked with regional development agency to secure a deal of $100,000 funding with a fixed and convertible rate of interest, which he later found not at all promising.
Awesense raised its first seven-figured equity round from angel investors, in 2012. However, the exact total amount was not disclosed by the CEO, Steiner-Jovic. In 2017, the CEO claimed to be a clean tech company which in not backed up by venture, institutional and strategic capital, but the team-raised funding.
Furthermore, the company was said to have doubled revenue from the previous year, reaching an 8-figured amount. Moreover, it was accompanied with a year-over-year growth of 180%.
The company won BC Hydro Sustainability prize amounting $40,000 in the BC Innovation Council’s new venture competition 2011. Last year, Awesense was placed on number 14 in the “Deloitte Fast50 , an award reserved for Canada’s emerging businesses and also won “loT Software and Tool Award” in the 8th Annual European Smart Energy Awards 2017.
Awesense claimed to remove over 700,000 tons of CO2 from the environment just in last year, which is considered an important milestone for this energy saving startup.
Despite having a Vancouver based team, their offices and employees are deployed across the British Columbia and in other parts of the world including Africa, Latin and North America. Its CEO, Mischa has also claimed to tackle a $100 billion/year problem with their creative and unconventional approach. Awesense customers are also said to have the losses combat by 50% in less than 3 years while scrimping millions dollars’ worth of revenue.