We all know that e-waste is a problem, as “planned obsolescence” sends hundreds of millions of electronic devices to landfills each year. But what about devices that are actually designed for the landfill itself?
That’s the story of Loci Controls, a Massachusetts company that makes smart, connected hardware that helps landfill operators monitor — and capture — the natural gases that are produced by decomposing trash. Installing wellheads at the landfill to divert these gases, which include methane and carbon dioxide, back into the energy market can provide extra income, reduce nasty odors from the landfill, and improve local air quality.
Loci’s WellWatcher hardware monitors the chemical composition of landfill gas, its flow rate, and the temperature and pressure inside the pipes. Taking readings a few times an hour, the battery-powered, solar-rechargeable system reports its data via a cellular connection.
Landfill operators can keep tabs on their wells in a web-based dashboard. WellWatcher can also act independently, feeding its data into an algorithm and adjusting the well’s performance based on the operator’s needs — whether that be maximizing collection, minimizing odors, or collecting gas of a specific chemical composition.
Loci announced yesterday that it has partially closed a Series A funding round for an undisclosed amount. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center(MassCEC) led the round, alongside CommonAngels Venture Fund, Launch Capital, Houston Angel Network, and several Boston-area angel investors. Loci Controls is a graduate of the Bolt accelerator, and is housed at Greentown Labs.