Nigerian startup, GRIT Systems, has developed the GI Smart Meter, aimed at addressing the challenges of lack of data and inadequate finance models for a solar hybrid.
GRIT Systems was founded by Ifedayo Oladapo in 2015, who claims the GI will “change your life”.
“Each year in Nigeria we spend in excess of US$11 billion fueling generators, maintenance and depreciation not included. Landlords and tenants squabble over shared energy costs. Our national grid is fraught with challenges for consumers and utilities alike.” he said.
Increasingly, renewable sources of energy like solar, are being seen as the answer to these problems. But Oladapo says financially justifying the switch – with its generally large upfront costs – is hard in the absence of data.
“So there is massive potential to reduce waste, increase efficiency and turn the tide towards renewable energy solutions,” he said. “To do this we need new data-driven ways of making informed decisions about how best to consume and produce electricity.”
His company, GRIT Systems, feels it has found the answer with the web-enabled GI Smart Meter. The GI measures power production and consumption in real-time from any number of power sources, such as generators, mini-grids or solar.
GRIT Systems is a home-built technology that is tailored to meet the unique requirements of under-electrified communities. It requires a firsthand installation by a GRIT Systems’ personnel. Once installed, users can remotely view graphs, receive notifications and generate simple language reports about an arbitrarily complex power supply mix.
What makes this technology unique is not just its ability to measure power, but also its ability to measure other inputs and output variables. For example, if a user provides relevant data about their generator, the technology can estimate fuel consumption, ascertain how the battery life of the inverter is decaying and also cross-check the billings from utility regulator (PHCN) to see if those numbers actually add up.
It is also possible to configure SMS notifications for when someone switches on the generator when you’re not at home, when power consumption on your inverter or generator is too low, when someone uses your generator outside of business hours, when there is an issue with power quality or when there is an imbalance in a particular phase distribution relative to the other.
According to reports, GRIT Systems was accepted into the CcHub Incubation Program in 2015 and raised an amount between $15,000 to $25,000 seed funding.
This is a massive technology created by Ifedayo, and one wonders how much he would have raised if the business was created in Silicon Valley.