Startup Storing Energy in Ice Cream

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Axiom Cloud
Axiom Cloud is making commercial refrigerators energy efficient through load shifting (Image: Dairy Foods Magazine)

Axiom Energy initially failed.

Axiom Energy was what came before Axiom Cloud. They were a hardware company focused on building thermal batteries. Effectively devices that could load shift cooling capabilities to off-peak (cheaper) electricity hours.

Hardware is hard, especially when the alternative option in the energy space is to just pay the electrical bill without the overhead of integrating a new piece of hardware into the property.

But software is eating the world – and such did Axiom Energy. After raising $12.5 Million from investors they realized the hardware approach wasn’t going to get them anywhere. However, they happened to have developed a piece of software that would provide them the legs to make energy efficiency for commercial refrigeration efforts possible.

Axiom Cloud was then born – and seed funded by investors that included Powerhouse Ventures. Axiom Cloud isn’t doing something that hasn’t been tried before, but they’ve found a way to optimize it for commercial refrigeration operations.

Load shifting to avoid expensive ToU rates and demand charges.

The principle in it of itself is simple – capture data on how well refrigerators are holding temperature and usage rates and then use that information to dynamically pre-cool to avoid having to run compressors during peak electric hours. The result is on bill savings.

Now this space is challenging – energy efficiency as a whole isn’t a customer problem that is actively sought out. Most businesses are focused investing into improving or adding to their business as opposed to electricity bill savings – unless the electric bill makes up most of their OpEx.

The true application for Axiom Cloud is their ability to get contracts with utilities for demand response purposes much like how OhmConnect opened up demand response for residential properties.

Why does this matter?

  • Load flexibility is one of the most important things being sought out by utilities currently
  • Behind the meter control has become a rapidly emerging market which hasn’t found financial success yet due to the complexity in monetization
  • Axiom Cloud serves a niche in the commercial load shifting realm that hasn’t been saturated by other large incumbents, yet
  • A strong founding team with technical excellence coming from a hardware background should enable Axiom Cloud to build a strong IP allowing for future acquisition from a larger incumbent should customer growth not pick up at the pace they project

Thoughts

It will be interesting to monitor Axiom Cloud’s customer base and progress. If they are able to drive enough customer adoption they may have a strong business and technology that could be acquired by the likes of OhmConnect or Autogrid. Axiom Cloud could be a strong feature for those large grid software service providers.

About The Author

Swarnav S Pujari

Swarnav S Pujari

CEO @ TouchLight | Founder of The Impact

Swarnav is the CEO of TouchLight, a utility backed energy company that develops software for nanogrids that accelerates solar payback periods by 1 – 3 years. He currently leads partnerships and product efforts within the company.

Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help provide open source tools, research and analysis to people passionate about tackling climate change. He also volunteers time with ClimateLink hosting regional meetups and was appointed the Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s CSC Task Force, where he helps with legislation and sustainability efforts within the town.

Swarnav has a background in building physical products and has been working in the energy space for about 8 years. He also holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, energy and real estate industries.

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