Electric utilities worldwide are facing a perfect storm of 21st-century challenges, including escalating energy demand, the need to incorporate more renewable resources, aging infrastructure and declining reliability. In true entrepreneurial fashion, SEI saw an opportunity with these challenges and developed a technology that provides a more detailed understanding of the electrical grid.
SEI’s chip is compact, very low cost and able to communicate information securely with far more detail and frequency than anything available on the market today. By integrating current and new communication protocols and supporting multiple networking standards, SEI-powered devices can be deployed throughout the grid and networked together, allowing devices to capture data, communicate issues and make adjustments to the grid before any human interaction is required—some of the key characteristics of the smart grid.
“To turn a grid into a smart grid, you need visibility. Highly detailed, real-time visibility on the grid is what SEI’s chipset provides. It’s so detailed you can even see which direction power is flowing,” says Tom Rand, co-managing director, MaRS Cleantech Fund and SEI board member.
D. Jeff Dionne, CEO of SEI, says the chip aligns with the company’s mission of creating a sustainable electricity future through higher grid efficiency, reliability and renewables integration. “Escalating global climate and energy challenges in the next decade speak to a dire need for technologies like ours,” says Dionne.
SEI first engaged with MaRS as a client over three years ago, when the company was in the early stages of commercializing its technology. SEI has since expanded its team and has raised over $3 million in funding, including an investment from the MaRS Cleantech Fund. MaRS worked with SEI to perfect the company’s pitch, provided business development mentorship and made strategic introductions, and we are excited by their recent success!