SiteAlert™ Upgrade Expands Capabilities

Based on continued feedback from customers throughout 2012, Gridata is now adding online alert management capabilities to its SiteAlert™ service. Please contact us for a preview of these features, including detailed rendering of event episodes, creation of user accounts and groups, assignment of alerts to individuals and groups, a revised dashboard, and online adjustment of alert parameters.

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IEEE Spectrum on Consumers and Conservation

Great article in IEEE about consumer behavior and energy management, located at IEEE Spectrum – Smart Conservation for the Lazy Consumer. Our comments are located there, as follows:

This article does a great job of introducing some thoughtful characteristics of successful, technology-enabled energy conservation use cases in residential settings. Shifting the focus from total energy reduction to better distributing energy consumption over time (resulting in peak shaving) creates value for the grid that will be passed through to the consumer through better, more targeted incentives than most current rate design provides. Fundamentally, these incentives, plus the cost of “energy servers” and their successful integration with appliances, need to undercut the cost of adding peaking capacity to the grid to be a scalable economic solution. One loose end not touched on here is the applicability of such incentives to the generation of distributed peak energy like rooftop solar. The effect of generation is similar to reduced load (but not the same, especially in regard to power quality). An energy server should be designed to manage this local generation as well.

I’m glad the authors tapped the Intel Home Energy Dashboard as an illustrative example of such an energy server. Gridata designed and built the integration, data handling and persistence middleware specifically to enable such futuristic use cases, so it is a rare example of how an energy server would actually work. The stand-alone system works with or without an internet connection, interoperates with smart appliances and smart meters, computes detailed trends and metrics onboard, and provides unparalleled data privacy features. We developed the core functions alongside a top-tier SF design company who created the visually compelling interface, which explores how consumers think of and percieve their appliances and energy usage. While the low-end residential energy management market outside of smart thermostats shows few signs of picking up, there is a significant number of higher-end consumers globally who are installing onsite (typically solar) generation, installing monitoring systems, and experimenting with time-of-use and other elective utility tariffs. Consumer electronics companies should consider the opportunity to use the Intel Home Energy Dashboard platform and build a powerful brand beachhead, by engaging these consumers early with compelling technology that works. Nest.com is reaping this type of premium with just a thermostat, now it’s time for another consumer electronics company to make a full-fledged energy server a reality. Gridata can help: Energy Intelligence Platform

Thank you IEEE Spectrum for a great article and in depth research about the behaviors of residential consumers in the face of energy conservation.

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Retailing Today on Whole Foods, EnergySmart Jobs, and PECI

Article in Retailing Today describes how data analysis is critical to identifying all aspects of the value created by energy efficiency projects. Such projects improve the sustainability profile of grocers, add jobs at a crticial time in our economy, and permanently improve the cost profile of retail operations. Check out our comments on that article:

“Kudos to Whole Foods and PECI for advancing the state of the art for grocers.

As this project shows, gathering high-resolution data for before and after assessments for groceries and restaurants is critical to identify the appropriate remediation for each individual store, and validate the desired results afterwards. However, the binding constraint on remediation is always the available capital that can be invested at once, so typically only greenfield projects achieve full efficiency potential.

For the majority, efficiency is an incremental process, with yearly improvement projects. The best way to optimize this ongoing activity is to collect high-resolution data year-in year-out, not just in the context of a one-time audit.

The technology is becoming available to cheaply collect and analyze data from refrigeration controllers and in-store sensors all the time, while also using the data to automatically diagnose the health and condition of all energy-intensive equipment throughout the store in real time. Imagine a system that does this centrally for all your stores, compares performance across stores, catches hiccups before they turn into crises, and produces weekly, quarterly, and annual reports with recommendations and analytics?

To talk about this type of capability for your operation, contact us at gridata.com.”

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Wall Street Journal on Telemetry Analytics

Interesting article in Wall Street Journal today , in which comments by GE’s Bill Ruh directly validate Gridata business model on telemetry-based predictive maintenance and energy efficiency. “In particular, Mr. Ruh sees an opportunity to mine the mountains of data generated by industrial equipment, which could help a company spot a breakdown before it happens, or improve fuel efficiency—breakthroughs it believes that could lead to greater productivity gains than improvements to hardware”.

Gridata software products are exactly targeted at this problem, and mine the data both in real-time as data arrives from the equipment, as well as in scheduled batches. The two approaches provide different kinds of insights. Real-time scanning and analysis can identify excursions from baseline operation that indicate problems occurring right now. Batched analytics uncover longer-term trends and problems. Batched analytics also produce the values that serve as baseline indicators for the real-time analytics.

Contact us to discuss your equipment data analytical needs.

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SiteAlert Compatible Sensor List Expanding

Gridata is expanding its list of compatible on-site sensors and subsystems, using a qualification process that includes real world testing in our device lab. With four different vendors of systems in the field today, Gridata has built up a significant base of knowledge from pilots and trials. The Gridata platform, which supports all SiteAlert capabilities, is designed to interoperate with many different protocols – once they’ve been qualified and tested, new sensors and building subsystems are typically added within two weeks.

If you are a vendor of innovative sensor devices, automation systems, or gateways and are seeking to partner with a cloud data company to bring your systems to market, please contact us. We will send you our qualification sheet and start the process of making your technology available to our commercial customers.

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Gridata Launches SiteAlert Monitoring & Analytics

For more information, Contact:
Sandy Skees for Gridata
sandy@communications4good.com
831-332-4387

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

GRIDATA LAUNCHES SITEALERT™ MONITORING AND ANALYTICS FOR
MISSION CRITICAL EQUIPMENT IN DISTRIBUTED SITES

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., September 6, 2011 — Gridata (http://www.gridata.com) today launched SiteAlert™, a next generation monitoring and analytics solution that collects vast amounts of data from multiple business locations, and sifts through it automatically to detect emerging problems long before they cause a crisis and lead to massive losses. SiteAlert protects perishable inventory highly sensitive to changes in temperature, humidity, and lighting, by monitoring mission-critical equipment such as commercial refrigerators and HVAC systems, and detecting conditions that are precursors to equipment problems.

According to Michael Leppitsch, CEO at Gridata, “We’re seeing great traction in cloud-based tools that put critical information into the hands of managers in real-time, enabling better, proactive decision-making. With the overall business intelligence software market expected to reach $10.5 billion this year, we see tremendous opportunity for our targeted solutions, and are optimistic about SiteAlert’s potential.”

The thresholds within which most commercial equipment must operate are tight. Every day presents risks that threaten business continuity. SiteAlert not only looks for crossing of thresholds and boundaries, but also mines past data to compare current performance against typical values. As soon as key indicators are reached and possible problems are detected, the system creates invaluable alerts, so managers can avert millions of dollars of losses, missed revenue, and lost customers.

SiteAlert is being piloted by regional grocery chain, New Leaf Community Markets located in the greater Bay Area of California — a regional specialty grocery chain focused on organic and natural foods, offering fresh organic fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, frozen foods and pre-made meals. The diversity of store locations and configurations serve as the perfect testing ground for monitoring temperatures, energy usage, and other important measures. The data streams are automatically watched by software to detect threshold conditions, identify precursor conditions to equipment failures, and trigger alerts for facilities managers and equipment service contract providers.

According to Scott Roseman, Founder and Co-owner of New Leaf Community Markets, “Inventory in our stores at risk to equipment and service interruptions is worth millions. Our approach to managing risk to perishable inventory and the health of our community follows industry best practice, given the technology that has been available so far. Gridata’s next-generation technology promises to raise the quality of our offering, reduce costs and losses, and prevent costly crises through proactive activity.”

The SiteAlert system includes temperature sensors, energy sensors, and refrigeration monitoring devices to assemble a comprehensive operational picture of the store equipment in real time. The information is available to operations managers, giving them the ability to set alerts and review historical data. In the background the system performs statistical analyses to identify potential problems with the equipment, enabling preventive inspection and maintenance before the stores experience a crisis.

About Gridata
Gridata™ provides business intelligence solutions for sensor networks, giving regional and national businesses a secure and innovative monitoring and analytics platform. Gridata was founded in 2009 and brings extensive experience in the energy, software, analytics, standards and sensors’ industries. Its flagship product, SiteAlert™, was created to put timely, actionable information about equipment and businesses right onto the Smartphone and desktop of operations managers, where it matters most. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, Calif., Gridata has a decade of OEM software, analytics and utility experience integrated across its platform offering.

-end-

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Example of How Refrigeration Is Critical to the Food Business

Refrigeration is a critical part of the equipment that keeps our customers in the food industry in business. SiteAlert becomes a central tool to avoid major problems in these systems. We’ve begun collecting stories that are rarely told, but loom in memory of most facilities managers, about the types of risks and costs that are mitigated by SiteAlert.

Here’s a link to a show describing the creation of Amy’s Kitchen, the renowned brand of frozen organic meals, and the story how a failure in their freezer almost sunk the company:

CNBC How I Made My Millions, the freezer story is at about 3:55.

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SiteAlert™ Pilot Launch

Gridata has launched a pilot of its SiteAlert™ service with a regional grocery chain offering high quality foods, organic products, fresh grocery and pharmacy services. The diversity of stores serve as the perfect testing ground for monitoring of temperatures, energy usage, and other important measures. The data streams are automatically watched by software to detect threshold conditions, to trigger alerts for facilities managers and equipment service contract providers.

The pilot includes temperature sensors, energy sensors, and refrigeration monitoring devices to assemble a comprehensive operational picture of the store equipment in real time. The information is available to managers, giving them the ability to set alerts and review historical data. In the background the system performs statistical analyses to identify potential problems with the equipment, enabling preventive inspection and maintenance before the stores experience a crisis.

To discuss how SiteAlert™ can help you with your business, or sign up for Gridata’s new service, please contact us at the contact page on this website.

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Podcast: Gridata Platform and Impact on Industry

By Michael Leppitsch, CEO Gridata

Lisa Cohn of Real Energy Writers took the time to record a podcast interview in two parts with me on June 23, 2011, and wade into the landscape of energy management, utilities, and Smartgrid technology. I’m pleased to be able to share this podcast with you here:

Energy Intelligence Platforms and SmartGrid – Part 1
Energy Intelligence Platforms and SmartGrid – Part 2

Enjoy!

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Microsoft Hohm Retirement – What Does It Mean?

By Michael Leppitsch, Gridata CEO

Completing the picture after blogging about Google Powermeter last week, here are some thoughts triggered by the Microsoft Hohm announcement.

Microsoft’s approach to making recommendations for homes was a commendable effort, and fits well into the landscape of analytics that are now beginning to evolve from the early monitoring-only solutions. These are the kinds of recommendations that are needed to support consumers to make informed decisions. Millions of such individual decisions need to be made by individual consumers in order to materially improve the overall efficiency of energy consumption. Gridata’s platform includes several levels of analytical services, specifically addressing this need as well.

I find it interesting that both Hohm and Google give fairly bland reasons for bowing out. It is true that adoption is nowhere near what is needed to support large-scale and long-term change. However, scientists and pracitioners are feverishly evaluating the behaviors observed during utility pilots and other trials, and some root causes are beginning to emerge. Articles, studies, and academic papers are starting to cross my desk that are taking apart how the consumer is or is not engaging, and what the implications are. I’ll save comments on specific findings for another time – suffice it to say, that the findings are materially affecting Gridata’s go-to-market strategy and the manner in which we partner to being our technologies to market.

With regard to Microsoft, I would have expected more steadfastness as the company evolves itself into more of a content company to bolster its technology market share. Data about energy usage is and will remain a key indicator of consumption and efficiency, and energy usage remains a growing part of the consumers pocketbook. Microsoft, as well as Google, are throwing in the towel a bit too soon on a crucial part of people’s lives, where they can make a difference.

Perhaps the next phase here are the investments that the capital groups of these two giants are making in stand-alone companies. While HEMS is getting a bad rap this spring, the timing to position new offerings and partnerships is still good, judging by the pipeline activity we are seeing at Gridata. We’ll post updates here as the year unfolds.

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