Runway Energy

From Yugenpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Runway Energy has developed a patented “smart energy system” that enables battery backup and intelligence for the home electrical panel.

Background/History

Runway Energy Logo

The United States electrical grid is under growing strain with more blackouts, brownouts, and voltage problems than ever. Former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson notes "We are a superpower with a third-world grid."[1] Home electrical panels are outdated with no easy way to protect electronic equipment or your family. They provide no “smart” functionality that consumers have come to expect, like real-time intelligence and convenient app controls or notifications. Meanwhile, existing home energy solutions are prohibitively expensive for many consumers, involve a lengthy installation process, and do not work seamlessly enough for mass consumer adoption. They're typically bundled with an expensive solar install.

Over recent years, there has been a shift in the energy consumption patterns of consumers. High wattage electronics (including lighting, TVs, and computers) have seen significant energy reductions. A typical 65-watt bulb can now be replaced by a 9.5 watt LED with the same light output. Meanwhile, smartphones and tablets (running on a few watts) are rapidly replacing high-powered desktops. An iPad can run six times longer on a battery backup than a modern laptop. LED televisions are up to three times more energy-efficient than older technology. When combined with higher battery capacities, battery backup of entire circuits is a cost-effective reality for mass adoption.

Runway Energy is positioning itself at the intersection of the Smart Home and Whole Home Backup Energy industries. Total Revenue from Smart Home Automation/Monitoring is projected to reach $57bn by 2024.[2] Juniper Research expects smart home devices to grow 82% through 2025.[3]

Product

Runway Energy has developed an intelligent, scalable, inexpensive battery backup and power monitoring solution for the home. The device itself, without batteries, weighs fewer than five pounds and can fit on a retail store shelf. It can generally be installed in under thirty minutes. Runway Energy was granted a United States patent for "Electrical power restoration system for a circuit assembly and method"[4] as well as a Chinese patent.[5]

Runway Energy is agnostic on the source of energy being used as a backup battery. Battery technology is rapidly developing by major players. While other companies work on chemistry and cost per kWh (kilowatt hour), Runway is focusing on the front-end experience and innovative marketing opportunities. Just as Nest provides the “brains” for the HVAC system, Runway aims to become the brains of the home’s energy supply.

The Runway Energy consumer device can be wall or rack-mounted. Each unit supports up to three home circuits at up to 20 amps each.

Team

  • Mark Schey, Co-Founder, Inventor
  • Cory Bowman, Co-Founder[6]
  • Thomas Tar, Software Engineering[7]
  • Jeremiah Landi, Hardware Engineering[8]

Competitive Landscape

Runway's most powerful competitors like Generac and Tesla are not able to target large segments of consumers. Townhomes, midrises, and high rises can’t readily take advantage of whole-home power backup due to space requirements (and the inability to couple with solar). They’re also prohibitively expensive for the average consumer.

For consumers concerned about long-term outages, Whole Home Standby Generators are the primary option. They are large (often requiring a concrete foundation outside the home) and can't be placed in all locations. Key players include Generac and Kohler.

The portable generator market is quite fragmented. The market has averaged $800 million in sales over the last 2 years. One of the main uses of portable generators is for home use during medium to long term power outages, which are generally weather-related. Key players include Honda and Generac. Portable generators require fuel, extension cords, and are quite loud. Carbon monoxide deaths are also attributed to improperly placed portable generators.

Energy arbitrage is about storing low-cost energy and using it to power your home during peak demand when energy costs are highest. Tesla's Powerwall was introduced for this function but, more recently, has been advertising the ability to provide backup power to the home.

SWOT

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Working Hardware and Software Completed After Extensive, Multiyear Development
  • Faster, Lower Cost and More Flexible Install Than Most Competition
  • Flexible Model with Multiple Verticals for Generating Revenue
  • Still Early In Rapidly Growing Market Segment
  • Battery Agnostic Design Allows For Focus On End-User Experience
  • Significantly Less Funding Than Major Players
  • Need More In-House Engineering Talent
  • Hardware Manufacturing Adds Complexity When Compared to IP or Software-Only
Opportunities Threats
  • Marketing with Unique Targeting Utilizing Electricity Data
  • Partnerships with Real Estate Developers, Installers, Insurance Companies, and Utilities
  • Modular Battery Sharing Network (e.g. User to User or Electrician to User)
  • Major Well-Funded Brands in Nearby Space
  • Potential Regulation/Local Code Hurdles for Installs
  • Stronger Relationships Between Electricians/Installers and Other Solutions
  • Major Proprietary Battery Breakthrough from Competitor That Lowers Cost per kWh.

Updates

  • January 2019: Granted US Patent 10,170,930 ("Electrical power restoration system for a circuit assembly and method.")[9]
  • August 2020: Granted Chinese Patent CN108475993. ("Power restoration system and method")[10]
  • November 2020: Completed design of first consumer unit.

Goals/Results

Goal Set Goal Target Date Result
July 22, 2019 Build a working prototype for three circuits September 22, 2019 Completed
July 22, 2019 Develop MVP of iOS app using Xamarin September 29, 2019 Completed
March 1, 2020 Build initial working consumer-ready 1.0 hardware November 2, 2020 Completed
March 12, 2020 Build AWS backend for data hosting and app July 1, 2020 Completed
November 10, 2020 Deliver 10 working prototypes of 1.0 hardware February 10, 2021 Shipping
December 1, 2020 Establish partnerships with battery manufacturers and electrician installers May 1, 2021 Pending
January 5, 2021 Begin Public Beta April 10, 2021 Pending

See Also

External Links

Runway Energy