Soltell leads the automation revolution in the operation and management of commercial and residential solar energy systems
Soltell is currently in Beta stage for a year, with a number of paying commercial customers and a pipeline of upscale pilots in the upcoming months. A commercial product is currently under development.
The distributed solar energy O&M segment is estimated at $1.5B as of 2017 and is rapidly expanding. In fact distributed solar energy O&M segment is making up 35% of the total solar energy market worldwide and because of increasing adoption of O&M standards in line with higher costs of distributed O&M it is expected to form nearly one half of total solar market O&M expenses in the next decade, reaching over $6B by mid-2020s.
Problem or Opportunity
The solar PV market is rapidly growing worldwide, with the distributed rooftop solar segment having an increasing challenge to optimize the costs of operation and management. This segment is increasingly coming under efficiency and regulation pressure, driving the adoption of monitoring and maintenance plans. To date, monitoring of small scale facilities has become a standard in most developed countries, with Japan even making it mandatory. However, manual monitoring is time consuming (and hence expensive) and requires a certain level of expertise. Both PV system owners and control & monitoring centers increasingly demand an end-to-end automation solution for monitoring, operation and maintenance optimization. We are already providing our management platform to PV system owners and receive numerous request from control & monitoring centers.
Solution (product or service)
The soltell management platform for commercial and residential PV systems is allowing to halve the monitoring expenses, maximize energy production by 3-7% and enhance the cost-efficiency via predictive maintenance.
AlsoEnergy (including Locus) - a major solar monitoring provider in the US and beyond, with some 180,000 sites monitored with ranging levels of automation using hardware products;
Solar Analytics - a startup operating in Australia with a hardware product;
AGL Solar - a major monitoring solution provider in Australia with a hardware product;
MeteoControl - a monitoring software solution provider centered in Europe with some 45,000 sites monitored, but with minimal automation;
InAccess - an automated solar monitoring software solution provider.
Advantages or differentiators
Soltell solution is software only, which can fit with various dataloggers, allowing remote installation and retrofit (unlike Locus and Solar Analytics, which distribute hardware). Soltell is in this sense more similar to third party software monitoring providers such as Meteocontrol and InAccess, but instead of human-oriented monitoring platform, Soltell automation level allows it do provide the monitoring itself as part of the package, with no human labor involved.
We are selling the service as SaaS with a price tag per site (per year) plus a size-factor per site (per year); We sold at 2,500$ in 2018 and are expecting to increase this number several times in 2019 with no investment or scale it up twenty-fold with investment.
Our business model is distributing the solution to solar installers and solar service providers (B2B), which would allow them to reduce human labor costs; In addition, we foresee Soltell becoming an ultimate tool for smart cities to efficiently manage and operate their rooftop distributed solar energy facilities (B2G).
Money will be spent on
R&D, B2B bizdev efforts, patenting and expanding operations
The risks in solar monitoring and operation segment mainly lie in slow adoption rates and compatibility requirement with a multiple number of datalogger providers (though on the other hand, this becomes an advantage when the business is sufficiently grown. In addition, we are currently localized in Israel, and hence any regulation change may impact us (expanding abroad would resolve much of the risk).
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Soltell is currently taking part in the Smart Cities acceleration program by Herzliya Accelerator Center (HAC).