Runway Energy has developed a patented “smart energy system” that enables battery backup and intelligence for the home electrical panel.
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." Home electrical panels are outdated with no easy way to protect electronic equipment or your family.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. Juniper Research expects smart home devices to grow 82% through 2025.
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" as well as a Chinese patent.
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.
- Mark Schey, Co-Founder, Inventor
- Cory Bowman, Co-Founder
- Thomas Tar, Software Engineering
- Jeremiah Landi, Hardware Engineering
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.
- January 2019: Granted US Patent 10,170,930 ("Electrical power restoration system for a circuit assembly and method.")
- August 2020: Granted Chinese Patent CN108475993. ("Power restoration system and method")
- November 2020: Completed design of first consumer unit.
|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|