How to Make Money from Saving Energy: Tales of Innovation at the SDG&E Energy Showcase
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lighting, hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment—as well as HVAC monitoring and control technologies. I nevertheless found a few local startups under the big tent of the San Diego Convention Center that are developing innovative technologies:
—Flux Power, based in Vista, CA, has developed energy management technology for use with advanced lithium batteries. The company, which was started late last summer by Aptera Motors co-founder Chris Anthony, has been self-funded so far, according to Joseph Gottlieb, the chief technology officer. Gottlieb says technology for monitoring, managing, and charging lithium batteries is crucial because such batteries are susceptible to damage by drawing too much power from the cell—as well as excessive recharging.
—Empower Electronics, based in San Diego, has developed digital and programmable lighting ballasts (transformers used to step up voltage so as to excite gases in fluorescent, metal halide and sodium vapor lamps), primarily for high intensity outdoor lighting. The privately held company’s ballasts, which can be easily substituted in municipal street lights, car dealership lighting, and big box retailers’ overhead lighting, can increase energy efficiency by 60 percent and reduce maintenance costs by 50 percent.
—InControl Technology, based in El Cajon, CA, has developed a network appliance for monitoring and controlling energy use within an enterprise IT network. CEO Gary Paquette, who founded the company in 2002 with Ross Bellinger and Ben McCullom (all three had worked previously at San Diego’s Peregrine Systems), tells me the technology can scan a network and inventory every network-attached device (laptop, desktop, server, switch, router, hub, etc.). The system also can identify which devices are using the most energy, enabling system managers to optimize the energy efficiency of their enterprise networks.
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