P. Foster Wilder
Keywords: microgrid, software, technology, maintenance culture
Summary:60HERTZ : MICROGRID MAINTENANCE SOFTWARE 60Hertz's mission is to create a culture of maintenance for village scale microgrids and critical infrastructure around the world, to empower the maintainers, and extend the life of assets to reach their full potential. We co-developed our offline-first, lower-literacy, maintenance software with indigenous communities in Alaska. Our solution serves villages, military, and industrial sites. 120,000 sites with $43B in market opportunity: off-grid, islanded microgrids will bring electricity and opportunity to the last billion people under-electrified or suffering brittle power. Further, military forward operating bases, remote posts, or urban bases who seek resiliency are also focused on microgrid strategies. Add to this, remote telecom, mines, scientific research stations like McMurdo in Antarctica and even maritime vessels all rely on microgrids for power. Importantly, these mini electricity systems need a human to maintain them. In the zeal for automation, diesel/renewable microgrids can’t and shouldn’t be automated to bypass local operators. Development experts know that buoying local operators and retaining even one job in a poor community is critical. Asset owners are facing a rude surprise: achieving full asset life demands a far stronger maintenance routine than is currently in place. Today, $8.3B in forfeited asset life, globally, is lost. The average cost of asset failure in our market is $300K. One horror story revealed a $9.5M microgrid loss due to a preventable maintenance oversight. Current Computerized Maintenance Management System software (CMMS) is radically wrong for these markets — these solutions do not work offline, are designed with highly educated users, and overlook the needs of energy assets. 60Hertz has prototyped, piloted and now commercially deployed an alternative software for microgrid maintenance people . Unlike competitors, our solution works for people without extensive literacy, computer skill, internet connectivity, or formal job training. CMMS is not new. But our approach to it is. The 60Hertz approach is critical to emerging market power infrastructure if global development banks don’t want to waste their $43B capital investments. With 2019 revenues of $120K, we’ve sold 85 licenses to a total of 10 customers. We’ve raised a $1.3M Seed Round. With a staff of 9, we are poised to expand into new geographies in the emerging market sector, new verticals (telecom and mining), and are serving our first DoD customer. 60Hertz is heavily invested in understanding our customers. We’ve conducted multiple rounds of Human Centered Design in multiple geographies. Winner: Arctic Innovation Contest 1st place 2017; Alaska Business Plan Competition 1st place 2017; High North Young Entrepreneur Bodo, Norway 21st place 2019; NREL Industry Growth Forum People’s Choice Award 2019.