What makes Kiwi Power an Energy Technology company?
In over 10 years of operation, Kiwi Power has delivered sustainability impact as a Demand-Side Response aggregator, as an energy storage developer and as a software provider. With the recent emergence of Energy Technology (or even ‘enertech’) as a buzzword, now is the time to explain why Kiwi is – and has always been – an Energy Technology company.
Just what is Energy Technology anyway?
Taken in the broadest sense, ‘Energy Technology’ could refer to a wide variety of disciplines, many of which look like traditional heavy engineering. The global energy system depends on sciences such as chemistry, geology, physics and meteorology. All of these have their own applied disciplines, such as combustion (for thermal power plants), mining (for fossil fuels), aerodynamics (for turbine blades) and weather forecasting (for wind and solar plants). As there is a good argument for describing technology as what you get when you apply science to a practical problem, these must all be energy technologies.
However, just as ‘fintech’ has come to mean the application of computer science to the finance sector, we use enertech to specifically describe the application of computer science to the energy sector.
Energy Technology, or enertech, is the application of computer science to the energy sector.
Advanced software and hardware platform
With this definition in mind, Kiwi is without doubt an energy technology company: we provide a software and hardware platform to meet our clients’ sustainable energy needs. Kiwi has always sought to apply the benefits of computing to the challenge of managing distributed energy resources, even before enertech was a ‘thing’. Over the years, we’ve developed some technology which we think sets us apart, even in this modern and fast-moving field. We describe this as Advanced Energy Technology.
So, what is it that lets us make that claim? To be ‘advanced’, something has to be noticeably ahead in development or capability. Kiwi is continuously developing its platform, so there are always new innovations to consider. However, even looking only at established capabilities, we believe that we have three main areas where we are ahead of the field:
• Secure, low-cost hardware
• Real-time visibility
• Analytical support
Let’s look at each of those in turn.
Secure, low-cost hardware
Kiwi’s Fruit device leverages cutting edge Internet-of-Things technology to provide our clients with a remote metering and control solution which is significantly lower cost than existing alternatives. It does this while achieving high levels of security, an important factor in persuading distributed energy resource owners to entrust the operation of their valuable assets to our platform.
Getting hold of useful energy data is such a significant challenge that some other energy technology solutions are happy to show users data that is over a minute old. With the move to increasingly dynamic energy markets, timeliness is more important than ever. Thanks to detailed attention to every stage of the signal chain, Kiwi is able to provide second-by-second data to all users of the platform, and to meet the sub-second response requirements of all major global flexibility programmes.
Rapid acquisition and processing of data is important for real-time decisions, but there is also huge value in being able to analyse events after the fact. When dealing with messy real-world data, it is important to keep track of revisions and re-statements such as the way in which a price forecast changes over time. To be able to analyse such situations, we need to know not only the latest data for each variable, but when we became aware of the data and the period for which it is valid. In fact, we need to track this meta-data for all previous values as well. Kiwi’s data warehouse does this, across the huge volume of incoming real-time data, and in a way that still allows high-performance queries.
What does this mean for me?
For electricity suppliers, distributed energy resource owners, grid operators and aggregators, this Advanced Energy Technology unlocks extra value from their distributed energy resources. Low-cost hardware lets you sign up a greater share of your customers to services which reduce the cost and carbon intensity of their power. Real-time visibility gives you confidence that assets are behaving as expected, and advanced analytical support unlocks actionable insights into how best to monetise your assets.