Energy saving and conservation are two popular keywords we hear these days. In that regard, Zenatix, an Indian startup has taken up the challenge. The company currently makes commercial buildings such as offices, university campuses, and industries energy efficient.
Whilst many companies manufacture and install equipment to monitor energy such as smart meters and controllers, Zenatix goes the extra mile. They have developed a cloud-based system called ZenSoft. The software can be used to monitor energy consumption data from the smart meters in real time. It makes use of advanced analytics in order to understand the data and then recommend measures to save energy says co-founder and head of technology at Zenatix, Dr. Amarjeet Singh.
Singh was an assistant professor at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi. I is here that the idea for Zenatix was conceptualized when he got involved in a project funded by the government to make the university building energy efficient. He and a small team of faculty installed numerous smart meters and analyzed the data which resulted in an overall reduction in power of around 10%, which roughly equates to $32,000 – 40,000USD. Thus, Zenatix was born.
Pitching the product to potential clients was no easy task. It required the team to successfully convince the clients that the system could indeed work for their benefit. They also found it difficult to prove that the initial cost of implementing the Zenatix product could be recovered within a year. They therefore opted for a SaaS (software as a service) model rather than the traditional upfront payment for both hardware and software.
To date, Zenatix has a total of 30 customers ranging from manufacturing units to college campuses and IT companies.
According to stats collected by the system, the biggest source of energy consumption is the air conditioning system, followed by lights and UPS systems used to backup servers and other delicate equipment in the event of a power failure or brownout. For example, Zenatix can actually set the most suited start and stop times depending on the weather and cooling rate of an office to optimize the power drawn by the air conditioning system.
The company also launched Android app with the ability to predict monthly water and electricity consumption. With Delhi’s stringent views on water and electricity, the mobile app can alert users if they are nearing the limit. All the user needs to do is enter the meter reading to the app.
Thus far there has been no household implementation of the system, but it’s in the works. There are a few kinks to work out. For example, electricity bills will not display what appliance consumed how much energy. However, installing meters on each appliance will. But then again, that is not actually practical. It’s also expensive and a lot of work
With Zenatix’s system however, one can just install a single meter and collect data per peripheral and then apply analytics in order to find out what appliance uses the most amount of power.
Quite an ingenious concept overall.