Go smart to solve power woes

STARTUP showcase

Amruth Puttappa

Erratic power, voltage fluctuations and high costs are issues that are commonplace in India. Inverters in India sell like hotcakes. However, with constant power fluctuations and long power cuts, the run of the mill inverters are unable to offer a lasting solution.

This was the issue that Amruth Puttappa and  Anusheel Nahar set out to resolve with ThingsCloud in 2015. The duo were engineers in the US, who returned to India and wanted to find solutions to energy woes in India. Amruth and Anusheel met through common friends and Things Cloud was set up in 2005. In 2016, The startup went on to be incubated under the NASSCOM’s 10000 Startups programme. The founders say, “Thingscloud was created out of a need to build smart solutions that are clean and smart.”

What does it do?

The firm has developed hybrid inverters that understand the grid inefficiencies in India.

Amruth explains, “Constant power cuts and voltage fluctuations mean that in India, inverters meant for developed countries do not survive for long. What people wanted was a seamless experience and we realised that only a smart solution, that combines IT solutions with algorithms can solve these problems.” 

ThingsCloud inverters allow residential complexes to monitor their energy consumption, conserve excess energy, and allows store back up power for utilisation during grid outages - a rather common occurrence in most parts of the country.

Amruth points out, “We also use data from artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT)-led data that aids in predicting the demand, supply, and flow of power through households. Algorithms within the inverters help detect usage patterns and provide regular insights to customers. Our inverters are connected with the solar panel at one end and the power grid in the other end. It took us more than three years of research to come up with the solutions.”

The founders say that the inverters are customised with usage.  For instance, if there is a spurt in power cuts in your area, the inverter starts storing energy more efficiently. “A part of the AI algorithm rests inside the inverter, and while another section is based in the cloud. We created the algorithms manually backed up by our research and experience. “

Where can it be used?

Apart from residential complexes, the company also plans to work on rooftop solar installations, villas and small office complexes.

Heading to market

Amruth and Anusheel spent a lot of time improvising the product, worked on research and decided to head to market only in 2018.

“We have seen a lot of interest in this area. Our growth has been about 400% year on year. We have sold upwards of 1000 inverters. Our inverters are currently sold in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.

The company is looking to expand pan-India soon, starting with the top 14 cities and says that it plans to serve more than 35,000 orders by the end of 2020.

They say, “We are mainly focussing on the B2B market presently. We work with multiple solar system integrators and feel that our product has the potential to do well in a market where the inverter industry offers an $ 8 billion opportunity. “Only a tiny fraction of the inverters sold are solar. We plan to change that soon.” 

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