If you don’t know who Arch Rao is, he was the former head of products, applications, and sales engineering at Tesla Energy. He was behind the company’s successful Powerwall home energy system. He is now back as founder and CEO of a new company, Span IO, promoting energy management and efficiency for homes.
Span IO is working to upgrade the electrical fuse box for homes with a digital system that integrates into the existing circuit breaker technology that has been the foundation of home energy over the last century.
Arch Rao and his team are focusing on integrating renewable power energy storage, and electric vehicles making it easier for people by redesigning the electric panel for modern energy requirements.
They packaged the metering controls that travel between the bus bar and the breaker.
Rao said energy flows through the panel through a breaker bar and the breaker bar has tabs that you slot your breakers into, the tab is normally a conductor. They have designed a digital sub-assembly that packages current metering voltage measurement, and the ability to turn each circuit on and off.
The technology will be sold through various avenues such as solar energy or battery installers. They already have plans to integrate their power management devices with energy storage systems similar to those available from LG.
Span plans on selling their products in states like California and Hawaii where the demand for solar installation is very strong and homeowners understand the significant benefits from installing renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.
What Happens When There’s an Outage?
One of the great advantages, homeowners having this new power management system will give them control over what areas of their homes will be powered in case there is an outage. The technology hooks up the entire home to a renewable system.
Rao said using existing technologies, installers can set up a separate breaker and just rewire certain areas of the home to receive the power generated by a renewable energy system.
The control is handled through a consumer app which is available for downloading on mobile devices.
Span IO is backed by many investors including Wireframe Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Ulu Ventures, Hardware Club, Consignment Ventures, I/O Capital, and Energy foundry. They plan on raising new cash before the end of this year to push forward.