Putting a Clamp on Power Loss
Founded by Mischa Steiner-Jovic, Awesense is a Vancouver based startup looking to deploy it's wireless sensors and data analytics platform to help utilities detect energy theft and other inefficiencies in their electrical grids.
The battery-powered clamp sensors operate on the 915 frequency band and can automatically form mesh networks for communication. One person can install the monitors from the field using "hot stick" installation methods to quickly calculate consumption levels, measure current, and send that data back to a hosted application for visualization and analysis.
The sensors are typically placed where utility companies are experiencing issues for only a temporary period of time and then are moved to another location after the anomaly in the system is fixed. Meter tampering, malfunctions, and any installation issues can all be identified using the system.
In 2006 the Electric Power Research Institute did a study that showed non-technical losses, meaning losses associated with "pilferage, tampering with meters, defective meters, and errors in meter reading" cost the energy sector in the US an estimated $6.5 billion in revenue, so even a small improvement could be a valuable addition to the market.