Orxa Grid: Smart sensors creating a smart grid

As more and more homes and businesses start generating their own renewable energy, network operators will need more control of how power flows within the system.

OrxaGrid have developed software which can process grid data, collected via a range of smart sensors, to deliver actionable insights on how to reduce losses and increase overall efficiency.

Energy Systems Catapult through our Energy Launchpad helped OrxaGrid to prepare their business for scaling, supported them in the development of their business model and digital platform, and helped ensure they were investment-ready.

The Innovation

The OxraGrid software is designed to transform the way data and insight impact energy management decisions, in real time. It comes as a series of apps:

  • Fault App – Allows for a quick response to reduce downtime and prevents resulting revenue losses
  • Energy Efficiency App – Maximises operational efficiency and reduces energy losses
  • Asset Health App – Helps lower maintenance costs, time to repair and raises Return on Asset (ROA).

The company has also developed a range of devices for enabling smart grids, including sensors that convert power transformers into ‘smart’ transformers and for overhead lines to continuously measure and detect outages and disturbances.

Figure 1: OrxaGrid’s solution involves the widespread deployment of sensors in local electricity networks, providing the data and insights required to optimise the performance and reliability of the network.

Figure 1: OrxaGrid’s solution involves the widespread deployment of sensors in local electricity networks, providing the data and insights required to optimise the performance and reliability of the network.

The Challenge

OrxaGrid’s solution involves the widespread deployment of sensors in local electricity networks, providing the data and insights required to optimise the performance and reliability of the network, and to support the transition from distribution network operator (DNO) to distribution system operator (DSO).

At the time they applied to our accelerator programme, their technology had already been installed in India; the next challenge was to achieve their first commercial sales in the UK and other parts of Europe.

The Solution

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Energy Launchpad that draws on Catapult capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The Energy Launchpad provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to selected SMEs to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.

Energy Launchpad’s Accelerator programme provides scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs. Support includes those areas outlined in incubation but in more depth, as well as help to access demonstration environments such as our Living Lab, engagement with potential corporate clients and investors, and links to international opportunities.

Energy Launchpad – Accelerator

Energy Systems Catapult and its partners delivered:

  • Business Model Innovation: We conducted qualitative research with UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to understand their needs and challenges, particularly relating to optimising network operations while also implementing renewable generation technologies. Then adapted their value propositions with use cases, assessed business model choices and formulation of an Network Innovation Competition project to support OrxaGrid’s business plan.
  • Digital and Data: Assessment of digital platform, interoperability (protocols, interfaces), scalability, security/penetration testing. Ensure compliance with standards required to participate in network tenders
  • IP assessment: Determine areas of competitive advantage and strategies to protect
  • Investment readiness work.

Akshat Kulkarni, Co-Founder & CEO, OrxaGrid, said:

“There is always a challenge for start-ups in getting open feedback from customers in this sector. So that's where Energy Systems Catapult played a crucial role helping us understand what the UK network operators wanted and how we can address that. There are other (accelerator programmes), but I don't think there are others that specialise in this particular sector in the UK.”

The Impact

For OrxaGrid, access to feedback from DNOs in the UK energy sector was invaluable. Our support has helped Orxagrid to:

  • Adapt their products for the UK market
  • Better understand energy policy in the UK
  • Identify South Africa as a new international market for their data analytics products.

 

Energy Launchpad

Turning clean energy innovators into entrepreneurs. Propelling them step-by-step through technical validation towards commercial vindication.

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