One of the energy analytics software companies I've been researching over the past couple of months, San Diego-based EDSA, just grabbed its third U.S. patent.
This one is for the real-time systems monitoring and predictive analysis technology that is found within EDSA's flagship product, Paladin Live. Kevin Meagher, chief technology officer for EDSA, describes the software as a management power for your power infrastructure (vs. the one that might rule your network). Here is Meagher's explanation of how the software works from the company's press release:
"Operations that are dependent on electrical power infrastructure are too dynamic and complex for human experts to diagnose on their own. Paladin Live encodes the expertise of the software designer into a softwre solution that can simultaneously be at work in a myriad of locations solving a near-infinite number of problems. This is network management for power because power is a network and requires the same approach as managing other critical networks. With the incorporation of true energy management, it is even more important that the basis for decisions about power and energy use are based on fact, not supposition."
The Paladin software series is intended to help companies and facilities design electrical power infrastructures that are optimized for their particular building environment and operations needs. Depending on the module you use, you can create a CAD representation of electrical infrastructure. That's the focus of Paladin DesignBase, which starts at $1,495 per user.
EDSA's power analytics software collects data about the operating conditions of the live environment and offers up suggestions about how it can perform more efficiently or alert facilities managers if something is amiss. The company is working with Numenta, a start-up run by Palm founder Jeff Hawkins, to add intelligence features. Numenta has developed a self-learning technology called Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM), software that establishes a baseline for what constitutes the "normal" operations of a given system and then logs information about what could be classified as non-routine events. The idea is that HTM helps humans understand when an anomaly has occurred.
The Paladin Live technology combined with HTM were used to design, test and (now) manage a power system for an oil field in the North Sea that is literally 200 miles from the mainland and served by a high-voltage direct current power cable. Clearly, reliable power operations are pretty important out in the middle of nowhere.
Meagher says one burgeoning focus of EDSA's sales efforts is companies building out microgrids, which are projected to be a $2.1 billion market by 2015. The idea of microgrids is that standalone generation facilities can contribute power to the grid at large, helping decentralize generating capacity and reduce overall energy costs. One of the toughest things to do is integrate these systems into the grid from a management standpoint, and the Paladin SmartGrid technology is intended to help design these integrations more intelligently.