Powerhouse Dynamics’ new patent, which we originally applied for in 2009 (yes, five years is not an unusually long time for a patent to make its way through the USPTO), has to do with SiteSage’s ability to identify under-performing equipment. Essentially, the patent covers our combination of: sensors placed on electrical breakers dedicated to specific pieces of equipment, real-time energy consumption data for equipment uploaded to a database in the cloud, and our software algorithms, which compare the latest data with historical data to flag problematic patterns.
We’re happy that our original inventors were prescient enough to identify the unique value this bit of technology can deliver. Despite all that has changed since 2009, the technology is as relevant – if not more so – than ever.
So, what has changed since 2009 when we first filed for the patent?
For starters, we’re witnessing an awakening to the value and availability of cost-effective energy and asset management tools.
Historically, our target market – companies managing large portfolios of small commercial properties – was under-served by energy and asset management technologies. The only technologies available previously were designed for far larger facilities such as large office towers, big box retailers, and factories. The systems were too complex and too expensive to scale down to the economics of a 15,000 square foot store (much less a 3,000 square foot store). And the technologies were often designed for managing one facility, rather than a portfolio of many facilities.
Now, with the combination of nearly ubiquitous connectivity, low-cost sensors, and cloud-based software, companies that had previously been unable to consider energy and asset-management platforms can take a serious look at these types of business tools as a viable means of improving profitability and operational efficiency.
What hasn’t changed since 2009?
In general, energy continues to become more expensive. For our customers in the food service industry, food costs continue to go up. Labor costs are also increasing across the board. As our customers are feeling the squeeze, they’re getting increasingly creative in finding other areas to save costs.
Also unchanged is the power of the bottom line in driving business decision-making, and the popularity of driving energy and operational efficiency to improve that bottom line.
We’ve found that SiteSage’s capabilities can be incredibly helpful to facilities managers, who typically have no visibility into equipment performance or advanced warning for equipment (such as HVAC or refrigeration) on the verge of failure. It’s empowering to have a system that helps to prevent very expensive and disruptive emergency service calls. And a little bit of patented technology can go a long way to protecting profits.
Click here to read more about our patent.