FSIGHT is the Startup of the Week 11: Artificial Intelligence in the energy sector


Uncategorized

The traditional, long-standing energy industry is not used to fast changes. However, suddenly, a lot of new developments take place: the data sources, the scale of the data, the optimization and stabilization needs, and the regulatory questions. Turning these challenges into opportunities requires new technologies and ideas. Our startup of the week thinks so, too. FSIGHT provides artificial intelligence for the energy industry. It is used to optimize processes and solve problems. in this interview, Business Developer Armin Greinöcker explains how this works exactly.

Hello Armin! Thank you for taking the time today. Let’s start directly with the first question. How would you pitch FSIGHT in just one sentence?

FSIGHT has developed an energy management platform that uses artificial intelligence to predict and optimize energy flows. This enables every end customer to benefit directly from the energy revolution.

How does this platform work?

Our Energy-AI platform analyzes the consumption behavior, energy production of photovoltaic and wind power plants and energy market prices and makes optimal decisions when energy should be consumed, stored or traded. We have developed our own trading model for energy communities with which households and commercial and industrial companies can trade the electricity they generate themselves. This enables savings of 20% for end users and stabilises the local power grids.

Artificial intelligence in the energy sector is not really new anymore. What can you do better than others?

For years we have specialized in artificial intelligence models especially for the energy market and have combined more than 40 machine learning models in our Energy-AI platform. By combining forecasting, optimization and trading of electricity and acting at household, community and grid level, we can generate significant benefits for end users, utilities and grid operators.

Do you offer your platform as a Software-as-a-Service model?

Right. FSIGHT’s energy AI platform consists of three core modules: Forecasting, Trading, Optimization. In general, we offer a SAAS, which is remunerated on the basis of one-time setup fees and other regular payments. Depending on the type of customer and application, the pricing model will of course vary.

Earlier you mentioned a few industries that could benefit from your platform. But who exactly belongs to your target group?

We work directly with established energy companies and network operators to develop new service offerings and to seize the opportunities in a rapidly changing energy market. In particular, we see a strong increase in renewable energy and battery storage and the introduction of energy communities with local peer-to-peer trading. Our software is also used by commercial, industrial and household customers to save costs directly for the end customer and to make optimal use of PV systems and batteries. Our customers are international, for example in Israel, Austria, Germany, Hungary, USA, New Zealand.

Unfortunately, this brings us to the last question: What stage are you in right now?

We work with renowned international companies such as Uniper, Verbund, Andritz Hydro, Wien Energie and Vector. Our products are market-ready and we are currently in a scaling phase. One of our most recent successes is a pilot project with the Swiss Federal Railways SBB, which involves the electrification of locomotives and optimization of battery storage. We are also currently launching the largest renewable energy community in Hungary. We still have a lot of plans for 2020.

Armin, thank you very much for this very interesting interview! We wish you good success in the future!

If you want to know more about FSIGHT, check out their Innoloft profile.

Blue Boson is the Startup of the Week 10: cleaning water and gas on a supramolecular level


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Especially in industrial sectors, a lot of water is contaminated. However, most solutions use chemicals to clean water. This week’s startup of the week developed a solution for non-chemical water treatment. Blue Boson’s technology removes existing incrustations, deposits and corrosion. Moreover their environmentally friendly solution prolongs the projected lifetime of the systems. We talked to Robert Zagozdzon, CEO of Blue Boson, to find out more.

Hey Robert, nice to meet you! Let’s dive straight in: How would you describe Blue Boson in one sentence?

Hey Innoloft! It would sound like this: Sustainable tech solutions which deliver a double-digit reduction of your electricity, heating and cooling costs through the treatment of water, steam and any other liquid or gaseous media.

What technology do you use to help with that?

So, in more basic terms we clean water without any chemicals. That is possible with our patented products called SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT®. They are hydraulic flow modules which consist of inlet and outlet sections. Furthermore they have an ionizing and a polarizing chamber. The patented methodology of our devices ensures the treatment of the supramolecular structure of water, as well as other liquid and gaseous media at three levels – physical, chemical and energetic.

The gist of the technology is to achieve intra- and intermolecular changes in energy and forces in two stages. Our device can be equipped with a sediment discharge outlet and air bleeding orifice for capturing various substances, air, gas and liquids of different specific gravity.

What added value do your products generate and what is their unique selling proposition?

The SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® devices are designed and manufactured to suit the needs of your particular technology and the required source of heating/cooling. It will be tailored to the size and specific requirements of your technology. Pipelines are modified as necessary at the designated places to allow the installation of the devices. The devices are fully automatic and suitable for autonomous around-the-clock operations.

The SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® have many advantages in e.g. the reduction of fuel consumption and greenhouse gases, as well as extending the life cycle of the whole system.

What business model do you use?

We provide ESCO model solutions, as well as rent and sales of equipment. Our money back cycle is 3 to 12 months – based on a shared savings business model. We provide upgrades and our equipment requires zero maintenance.

Since your solution offers many different advantages, are you also targeting many different markets?

Yes, we address several different markets. One could use our technology in the sectors of for example drinking water treatment, energy and heat production and in chemical plants. In addition to those, we also address the heating, cooling and steam base production, as well as the remediation of lakes and rivers.

We develop solutions for fuel efficiency, water contamination and sanitation, mining, and agriculture. Our technology brings yearly a saving of about 100 billion euro without any investment and additional cost generating just in the EU industry.

Where do you stand with Blue Boson at the moment?

Our environmentally-friendly devices SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® are the outcome of more than twenty years of development, testing and application at dozens of installations in various types of industries. We are based in central Europe and preparing to scale into global marketplace. Currently we are seeking financial and management cooperation for international expansion and new applications development. We have installations in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and clients which want to use our services all over the word. Our commercial installations in central Europe can be visited when provided with auditing documentation.

Robert, thank you very much for this super insightful interview! We are looking forward to see Blue Boson evolve further.

To find out more about Blue Boson, check out their Innoloft profile!

Instagrid is the startup of the week 45: Portable Power for Professionals


Energy Storage, Uncategorized

A portable power supply can be used in many places: At events, on construction sites or when redesigning the garden. As there is no sustainable solution for this yet, e.g. diesel generators are used at construction sites. The disadvantages are certainly clear for everyone. Our startup of the week, instagrid, closes this technological gap with its innovative battery storage systems. In our interview with founder Sebastian Berning we learn more about it.

Hey Sebastian! I’m glad you’re here today. We start directly with a short question. In one sentence: What does instagrid develop?

instagrid develops and markets the most powerful mobile battery storage systems for professional users currently available on the market.

That sounds very interesting. Can you explain to us in more detail which technology you developed?

instagrid has developed batteries that can be recharged without the need for additional converters or converters on the usual mains supply and can also provide this voltage again at high power. You can imagine this as if you don’t need a charger to charge your smartphone, or if you could use your car battery to power a drill directly. Since the characteristics of these new batteries are largely defined by the complex software of the batteries, we call the technology a software-defined battery. The technology is aimed exclusively at converting electricity and can be combined with any battery cell, e.g. lithium-ion batteries or lead-acid batteries.

At the beginning of the interview you described your batteries as “light” and “compact”. Are those in addition to its “mobility” also your USP?

Since our batteries do not require power converters, they can be used to create systems for grid applications that are more compact, lighter, more cost-effective and more powerful than conventional systems. We currently use the technology to develop portable energy storage devices for professional users. Our customers come from the construction industry, horticulture or event technology, for example, and save a lot of time that they previously spent laying power cables and searching for sockets. In addition, you can be sure that you always have a suitable power connection on site, without having to carry a power generator with you. Our battery power supplies are about 50% lighter and 65% smaller than other equipment on the market and are the only systems that provide full mains power to operate large equipment such as high pressure cleaners. Nevertheless, the units are absolutely waterproof, as no ventilation is required for cooling.

And how do you distribute your product?

On the one hand, we develop white label products based on our battery modules for large customers. These products are developed, certified and manufactured in cooperation with our suppliers. The products are then distributed by the white label customers themselves and we provide after-sales services on request. On the other hand, from 2020 we will offer our battery storage systems under our own brand for mobile power supply. These batteries will then be offered exclusively for rental online via a direct-to-customer service model. In this way, we hope to be able to offer very low & fair entry prices, as a usage-based component is charged in addition to a monthly basic fee.

You have already mentioned your customers who come from many different industries. Do you also adress different markets?

We are currently addressing the market for mobile power generators, which comprises several billion euros worldwide. We believe that this market can grow rapidly if a reliable and comfortable electric solution is available – as has been seen with pedelecs / e-bikes in recent years. In addition, we are already addressing other markets with pilot customers, such as compact solar storage units for rental apartments in the city or electrical reserve canisters for electric cars. We are currently testing the latter with Norwegian and Finnish automobile clubs. Since Scandinavia often plays a pioneering role when it comes to sustainability, we have had an office there since last year that coordinates our business development activities. Our products are sold internationally, outside the EU, for example in the USA.

This brings us to the last question: Where do you currently stand with the development of your technology? I’m sure you’ve been working hard at it since your founding.

We are currently industrializing our first series products with several brand partners. The technology is largely mature and is currently being put through its paces by these partners under laboratory conditions and in the field. 2019 was already a very successful year for us. After our seed financing in January, we were able to build up a great team and were awarded a prize money of €100,000 by InnoEnergy in spring as the world’s most innovative energy storage start-up.

Sebastian, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear more from you. Those who are interested in further information about you and your products can have a look at your Innoloft profile.

Recogizer is the Startup of the Week 40: Self-Learning Building Solutions


Uncategorized

For some time now, the areas of application of artificial intelligence have been expanding to a wide variety of industries. Of course, the energy and building industry is also addressed, in which KIs control e.g. power grids or energy sectors. It therefore makes sense to use such a versatile technology for energy efficiency purposes as well. Our Startup of the Week sees it the same way. Recogizer therefore developed a self-learning system that reduces the energy consumption of buildings and avoids CO2 emissions. An exciting idea, which we talk about in our interview with Managing Director Carsten Kreutze.

Hello, Carsten! We are happy to learn more about your startup today and will therefore start right away. Who are you at Recogizer?

We are pioneers for self-learning building solutions and save energy in commercial buildings through artificial intelligence.

Please give us some background information about your solutions. An artificial intelligence has to be fed with a lot of data. What do you generate them from?

energyControl is a self-learning control system for air-conditioning systems that uses artificial intelligence to reduce energy consumption. More than 20% of the thermal energy requirement in commercial buildings can be saved with energyControl, and CO2 emissions can be avoided at the same time. Therefore, a digital twin will first be developed that is precisely tailored to the building.
We make use of all measurement data of the property, which are e.g. collected by sensors, controllers, consumption meters and actuators. From the structured data recording, energyControl learns very precisely the system, building and usage behaviour. This enables a predictive control, so that we can save energy in a fully automated way.

The concept of artificial intelligence has long since become familiar to most actors in the energy and building industry, even though it is currently only used sporadically. What makes your solution special and opens it’s way to practical use?

What is special is that all factors specific to the building that have a significant influence on energy consumption are taken into account: Weather data, occupancy data, usage or opening times and complex plant contexts. Intelligent forecasts of these influences provide as much heat, cold and fresh air as an optimal room climate requires, with as little energy input as possible. Our goal is to get as close to the optimum as possible: The building really only consumes the energy it needs, and it is fully automated. The prerequisite is an automation level in the building on which energyControl is based via standard interfaces.

And what does the pricing for energyControl look like?

Our pricing model is simple: there is a one-off price for setup and startup, followed by an annual service price for continuous service. Since energyControl is a low-investment measure, the investment often pays off after less than 12 months. In addition to the self-learning control system, we also offer energy monitoring that ensures transparency about the systems and consumption. This allows the permanent monitoring and comparison of individual buildings as well as larger property portfolios. Monitoring is the basis for predictive control and collects data in real time. In the energyPortal, the customer has an overview of his savings at all times.

Let’s get a little closer to your customers. In which segments and industries do they settle?

We address operators and users of larger commercial buildings, e.g. hotels, retail trade, office buildings, educational institutions. Their aim is to manage their buildings more energy-efficiently and to launch sustainability initiatives. Due to the data-based approach, the payback times of the energy efficiency measure are very short, which is an important decision criterion for building operators. We are currently mainly active in German-speaking countries, with projects also increasing in Europe and worldwide.We have tailored our solution specifically for existing buildings, creating an innovative alternative to costly energy efficiency measures that pays for itself in a short time.

So you are already established on the market and now in the process of expanding your start-up?

Yes, Recogizer has been successful on the market for several years. Thus, energyControl is already successful in retail, hotels and in office and administration buildings. At a well-known department store in Freiburg, for example, we were able to save 92 tons of CO2 and €33,000 in energy costs in the first year of the regulation – and the trend is rising. That is as much CO2 as a forest with 7360 beech trees per year would bind. Together with our customers, we make an innovative contribution to energy system transformation and climate protection with every project.Strategic partnerships enable us to act flexibly on the market. Recogizer works in particular with large energy supply companies such as MVV and Mainova, as well as the building automation company Kieback & Peter.

Carsten, that already brings us to the end of our conversation. Thank you very much for the exciting interview. We hope to hear a lot more from you and wish you continued success! Those who are interested in your products or a cooperation with, can have a look at your Energieloft profile and your Energieloft request for further information.

encoord is the Startup of the Week 38: enabling global energy transitions


Uncategorized

Our Startup of the Week has set itself the task of making a contribution to the global transformation of energy systems. However, it is not about measures that can be implemented by end consumers in a public-effective way –  Encoord rather focuses on the (energy) source. The German-American startup develops software solutions for the planning and coordination of multi-network energy systems . A complex topic, which is brought closer to us by Co-Founder and Managing Director Kwabena Addo Pambour.

Hello, Kwabena. Thank you for taking the time for us today! We start directly with the first question: In a nutshell, what is Encoord developing?

Software solutions to model, plan, and operate multi-network energy networks.

You currently sell these solutions under the product name SAInt. Could you tell us more about it?

Sure! SAInt is a software application for modelling, planning and operating independent or multi-network energy networks in a single fully integrated simulation environment and graphical user interface. Energy networks include electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, heat and water systems. These can be coupled at different locations, e.g. power plants and energy conversion plants (e.g. electricity to gas and electricity to heat). SAInt enables the user to investigate how different energy systems can be integrated and coordinated.

I would like to follow up on your last sentence – What added values and conclusions can the user draw from such an investigation?

By using our software solution the customer can save planning and operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve security of energy supply. Our USP is the capability of our software application to model different types of energy networks and their coupling (PowerToGas, GasToPower, PowerToHeat, PowerToPressure etc.) in a single software environment. By modeling multi-network energy systems with a single software solution, the user can understand complex interdependencies between them, and address challenges that could not be captured by independent modeling tools. Moreover, the user can avoid time consuming data exchanges as well as inaccurate and error-prone iterative simulation processes between different software environments. Today SAInt is the only software that we are aware of, that can model coupled real electricity and natural gas networks in a single simulation environment.

In your Energieloft profile you chose the business model “Licence”. How does this look in detail?

Our business model is divided in 2 revenue streams. The first one comes from selling annual licenses of our software product SAInt, which includes customer support as well as software updates and maintenance for the entire license period. SAInt licenses are divided into a basic module, which includes access to our Graphical User Interface and different simulation models, and additional upgrade modules, which include external access to our Application Programming Interface and other advanced simulation features. Each module can be licensed separately but at least one annual license of the basic module is needed to purchase annual licenses of our upgrade modules. We also offer permanent licenses for 2.5 times the cost of an annual license, but we only provide customer support, maintenance, and updates during the first year. Our second revenue stream comes from selling software training, consulting services, and customized software application development, including extensions of SAInt.

And what does a typical target market for your business model look like?

Our target market is energy modeling software. According to a market research report (http://bit.ly/powsysmkt ) the power system software market alone was valued at $3.5 Billion in 2015 and is expected to triple over the next 10 years to more than $10.2 Billion. As a startup with a new software product on the market the cost of acquisition (COA) can be relatively high, due to the effort and time needed to gain the customers trust to invest in our software product. We offer a number of live webinars and a 30-day testing period before the customer eventually decides to purchase a license. In the future we plan to cut our COA by providing free demo licenses and training material online. Our products are offered internationally.

So you’ve already successfully completed the launch of your product?

Yes, our software solution SAInt is commercially available since early 2018. We have paying clients in Europe and the United States. Our total revenue since start of business is more than €200,000, 25% of which was generated from selling software licenses. We have received funding through a Kfw bank loan (€41,000), E.ON agile accelerator (€22,000, equity free) and the “Gruendungszuschuss” from the German Job Centre (€17,400). We have recently founded a sister company in the United States called encoord LLC which is owned with equal shares by the two Co-Founders of encoord GmbH. The U.S. company is managed by our Co-Founder Carlo Brancucci, who resides in Denver, Colorado.We are interested in partnering with investors in the new future to expand our capabilities and grow faster.

Kwabena, we’ve already reached the end of our interview! Thank you very much for your time and the interesting conversation. We hope to continue to hear a lot from you! If you are interested in further information about yourself, please have a look at your Energyloft Profile or your Energyloft Request.

LiveEO is the startup of the week 36: Innovative Infrastructure Monitoring from Space


Uncategorized

LiveEO is a Berlin-based startup that for the first time is able to use satellite data to monitor infrastructures such as railways, power grids or piping systems. Their monitoring takes place in real time and on the basis of artificial intelligence. We talked to one of the co-founders of LiveEO GmbH, Sven Przywarra.

Hi Sven, can you tell us in one sentence what’s so special about LiveEO?

LiveEO uses satellite imagery to automatically monitor large-scale infrastructure networks in the vertical orbit, power networks and pipeline systems, enabling operators to save operating costs through getting directly usable information on vegetation hazards, height differences and interactions with third parties.

This sounds like a technical solution that promises great benefits and added value. How do you ensure high-frequency and thorough monitoring of infrastructure networks?

There are over 20 million kilometers of infrastructure networks worldwide. These must not only be monitored repeatedly, but also efficiently. More recently, the forest fires in North America and Portugal, caused by power grids too close to vegetation, and the pipeline disaster in Mexico in January 2019 are dramatic examples of the problems facing the industry. At the same time, the increasing number of extreme weather events leads to ever more frequent and violent threats to our society and its infrastructure. Understanding, controlling and mitigating risks will become an increasingly vital task worldwide. LiveEO aims to ensure the necessary high frequency and thorough monitoring of industrial infrastructure networks such as rail, electricity, oil and gas pipeline networks, whether small, localised or transnational.
The monitoring is designed as an “Information-as-a-Service” platform, consisting of a frontend and a mobile app that provides access to our monitoring services. These consist of satellite-supported vegetation analyses to identify dangers to overhead lines and railway lines caused by trees, as well as to identify ground movements and external influences in the vicinity of pipelines. In this way, our customers, the operators of infrastructure networks, can assess the current condition of their facilities with high efficiency and, if necessary, take preventive measures – based on the findings of our artificial intelligence based on satellite data.

How are central infrastructure systems currently monitored?

Infrastructure network operators mainly use manual, inflexible, tightly focused solutions, e.g. the use of cars or helicopters to monitor infrastructure networks, despite the availability of satellite data. These manual monitoring processes are often inefficient and lead to high network operating costs. Large-scale monitoring or inventory of networks covering an entire country can take years with the methods used so far. This is where the innovative satellite data based on artificial intelligence of LiveEO comes in and shortens the analysis to less than 48 hours. The findings derived from the analysis allow well-founded management decisions over thousands of kilometers network without the need for further processing by geoscientists. The distribution of knowledge via a frontend and a mobile app to local staff leads to a highly efficient and transparent workforce management, while at the same time providing cost-effective integration into existing processes via API and database (SAP) connections.

This will lead to significantly shorten work processes and can quickly provide valuable information for management decisions. Can you tell us, what does your business model looks like?

Our product is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS) or Information as a Service (IaaS). It allows the customer to configure it according to his wishes. The costs for access to the service are calculated according to monitored network kilometers.

How is your product or service offering been accepted by infrastructure operators so far?

The service offered is aimed primarily at electricity network, rail network and pipeline operators and is internationally oriented. Transmission networks as well as distribution networks can be analyzed. Within network operators there are two groups of users. The frontend is designed for decision makers and management and provides an overview of the entire network. On the other hand, the mobile app allows on-site staff to take on specific tasks from management and document progress in processing. This enables transparent communication between all user levels.

Which phase are you currently in?

Following several successful pilot projects, we are currently in the market launch phase. We were able to win our first anchor customers and analyze, for example, entire rail networks over thousands of kilometers for vegetation hazards. We are currently involved in several advanced projects and have analyzed power grids in the area of distribution and transmission grids.

Thanks a lot for your time, Sven. We wish you all the best! More information about your startup can be found here at your Energieloft profile. Who wants to get into contact with your startup, can also find your contact infos in your customer request.