Our society is dependent on a constant supply of electricity. So in Europe alone, there are 10 million kilometres of overhead power lines! This ageing grid requires a high level of costly and currently inefficient maintenance. Energiot addresses these issues with an innovative and eco-friendly solution.
With a strong team of engineers and a patented technology based on piezoelectricity (the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials as a result of mechanical pressure), the Spanish start-up Energiot has developed autonomous IoT sensors that recharge themselves from the magnetic field around overhead power lines, and collect an impressive amount of data from the power transmission grid. More specifically, they can be used to predict unexpected events and produce detailed maps of power transmission lines. Grid operators can then use this data to limit losses of electricity and reduce their operating costs by around 20%. Unlike other sensors available in the market, these generate no toxic waste whatsoever. Better still, Energiot sensors are also between 5 and 10 times cheaper than other sensors!
Category: Resilient Infrastructures
Energiot founder Gonzalo Murillo is an electronics engineer with a doctorate in microelectronics, and leads a highly skilled team: electronics and telecoms engineer Mario Acosta, chemical engineer and COO Joana Cases, and business and marketing expert Pablo Ribeiro.
This idea came to electronics engineer and Energiot founder Gonzalo Murillo while he was a PhD student. In the course of his researches, he learned a great deal about piezoelectric materials and how ambient energy can be harvested. Although this technology has very useful applications in many areas, the team quickly understood that its greatest impact would be in the energy supply industry. By powering sensors installed in power transmission grids, it delivers a uniquely high quality of system monitoring that provides network operators with the tools they need to reduce energy losses and cut operating costs.
What are the most recent developments for your start-up?
Energiot has already laboratory-tested its prototypes, and is now identifying opportunities to experiment its technology in real-life situations with power supply and transmission companies. Most recently, we’ve successfully optimised our sensor design by boosting the density of harvested energy. We’ve also created a new low-energy sensor that’s currently in production prior to pilot testing. And our most recent funding round produced 14 letters of interest, and allowed us to schedule 3 pilot tests for the first viable version of our product.
What’s been the most unexpected thing that’s happened as a result of the start-up?
Founding Energiot gave Gonzalo the opportunity to file his first patents as a researcher. It also meant that he was able to take part in the InnoEnergy accelerator programme, pitch his idea to potential investors, and step out of his comfort zone to negotiate with potential customers and partners.
So how does your project revolutionise your category?
Energiot is changing the way the power supply and transmission industry manages its grid data. So, for example, we can create a kind of ‘Google Maps’ for the entire power transmission grid. Our low-cost smart sensors give grid operators direct access to a phenomenal amount of new data to support better decision-making. We estimate the financial gains at around 20% of current network management and maintenance costs. Our technology also reduces energy losses between production and end-user consumption.