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Armada Power Places First in Utility Innovation Competition

Randy Sukow

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Armada Power Water Heater Optimizer Device Installed

NRTC partner Armada Power this week finished first in the Start@ETS competition, a program “to foster innovative ideas and offer a platform for inventors and innovators to pitch their most brilliant ideas to utilities, cities, and investors.” Armada received the award at the Energy Thought Summit (ets22) in Austin, TX, sponsored by research firm Zpryme.

“Few things are as gratifying and humbling as recognition from your peers, particularly when you compete with other brilliant innovators in the same space,” Armada said in a social media post.

NRTC and Armada Power signed a partnership agreement a year ago. The company has developed a system to connect multiple hot water heaters into a network to collect data for demand management purposes.

“Armada Power securely manages thousands of loads in real time to achieve fast accurate grid control,” the company says on its website. “Real-time temperature and power data can troubleshoot problems before the user is impacted [and] give customers control over their energy-usage and water-heating costs.”

Eric Rehberg, Armada’s chief engineer and co-founder, said the next focus for the platform’s development will be “direct renewables firming,” according to an online feature article published this week by Canary Media. “That entails giving grid operators access to sources of electricity that can quickly turn on and off to absorb shifts in wind and solar power output. The market structures for enabling this kind of moment-to-moment renewables firming are not yet fully developed,” the article says, adding that Armada has conducted pilot projects to test the concept.

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