Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Introspective and Brightmerge bring AI to microgrids

Steve Rogerson
August 21, 2019
 
US and Israel companies are partnering to take renewable energy microgrids into the AI and machine learning age. The commercialisation project is part of a collaboration between Introspective Systems and Brightmerge.
 
Portland-based Introspective Systems has finalised its contract with the Binational Research & Development Foundation (Bird US-Israel Foundation) to begin a commercialisation project with its Israeli partner Brightmerge. The companies will leverage their areas of expertise to create an end-to-end AI-based data system for microgrid design, development and operations.
 
"The process of developing microgrids can be costly," said Introspective Systems CEO Kay Aikin. “It begins with a feasibility study reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, even before any design, procurement and installation. Moreover, those feasibility studies are filled with disclaimers and closing the gaps of uncertainty is crucial. Microgrid designs are unique and therefore it is difficult to scale-up the process of those studies without the use of technology."
 
Daniel Schwab, CEO of Brightmerge, added: "After spending almost 20 years in the renewable energy industry, it has been clear to me that microgrids are the architecture of the future energy system. Brightmerge and Introspective Systems have the industry knowledge and technological know-how to provide seamless solutions that bring entire economies into the digital age of energy."
 
And Elkana Pressler, vice president for Brightmerge, said: "The electricity grid served humanity for over 100 years distributing energy during the fossil fuel era; this era is decaying fast. Transferring energy hundreds of miles from production to consumers is no longer the most financially efficient. The current electric transmission system is super expensive to build, operate, maintain and, lately, to protect. Microgrids utilise the capability to create the energy wherever it is consumed. It might be a community, a campus, commercial centre or even residential facilities."
 
Keith Lehman, CTO of Brightmerge, believes that's where both companies come in.
 
"This is exactly where Brightmerge enters the picture,” said Lehman. “We realise that with the right set of data, machine learning process and AI we can automate most of the feasibility stage and can significantly reduce costs during design."
 
Brightmerge has several premium, paid pilots with large clients that understand the potential of the microgrid revolution. These clients wish to move now instead of waiting and keep losing money.
 
The project is expected to reach alpha stage of development by the second quarter of 2020 with first production versions ready at the beginning of 2021.
 
Introspective Systems is the developer of xGraph, a software platform that lets developers build systems designed for complex software ecosystems. It combines edge computing with distributed analytics to speed processing time. It is AI-enabled for systems that require autonomous and collaborative decision-making to meet the challenges of complexity in environments including healthcare, IoT, energy and science.
 
Brightmerge has developed an online cloud-based expert system that accurately predicts a microgrid system's energy and financial performance. The platform integrates data sets in one platform and automates decision-making using ranking and optimisation algorithms to choose the best components, suppliers and contractors for each project. The company opened a fund round to complete the product and drive first sales.