Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Gridware

Game-changing monitoring boosts grid resilience

Agriculture & Energy

An easy-to-use system is preventing fires and minimising outages

Spotted: According to the World Resources Institute, fires are becoming more widespread, burning almost double the tree cover today than they did 20 years ago. Climate change is one of the major drivers of increasing fire activity, but managing the risk of forest fires is going to involve both emissions reductions and better fire mitigation.

Many fires are sparked by malfunctioning or damaged utility equipment. Startup Gridware is working to change this with a technology platform that provides real-time monitoring of assets such as wires, poles, and transformers. The equipment uses solar power to stay online even during power outages.

Gridware’s devices attach to electrical utility boxes so that utility companies can tell what condition their equipment is in and use this information to prevent fires from starting. The company’s plug-and-play system allows utilities to rapidly identify and locate faults – including those caused by grid equipment failure, downed lines, or vegetation contact – which helps to reduce outages and wildfire threats in real time.

Gridware has already deployed its technology across five states in the US and observed more than one million collective hours of field data. Last year, the company raised $10.5 million (around €9.8 million) in a seed extension funding round led by Fifty Years and Lowercarbon Capital, bringing Gridware’s total funding to $18.8 million (around €17.5 million).

Gridware is joined by other companies using technology to reduce wildfires, including a platform making it easier to track and manage natural resources and an autonomous aircraft that fights wildfires.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



Download PDF