Maxem Adds Intelligence To Residential Home Electric Systems

Originally published on Clean Technica

Transitions Now was founded by Jan-Willem Heinen with a very simple goal that is summed up on its homepage: “we build cleantech companies.” After a bit of research into Transitions Now and the companies operating within, I had seen enough to want to dig in a bit further, and seeing as how I was already planning to be in Amsterdam for a few days in July, I arranged for a visit to the office.

After a bit of searching and a fair amount of exploring the new city on bike (aka, getting lost), I found the offices tucked away in a modern neighborhood in northeastern Amsterdam. Stepping into the office, I could feel the excited energy of the place as if it were almost tangible. People buzzing around in all directions, huddled around desks, fervently working on the latest challenge or development … it was clear that progress was being made, the common goal was being moved forward.

I was primarily interested in the one startup underneath the Transitions Now banner, Cohere, and its flagship product, Maxem. Cohere was launched in 2011 as the brainchild of Jan-Willem Heinen, who saw a gap in the current EV charging offerings when it came to enabling homeowners to charge at home on the often current-limited home electricity grid connections that are typical in Europe.

maxem_grid_charges

A Connected, Intelligent Solution

Maxem is an end-to-end solution that revolves around a small piece of hardware that taps into the home electric box as well as key large power users in the home like EV chargers, the heat pump, home energy storage, and residential power generation units like solar or wind.

With all of this connectivity, the Maxem solution maximizes the synergies between the various systems with a focus on first measuring consumption and generation, then applying its intelligence to control the individual appliances on the home grid. The ultimate goal of Maxem is to help the electricity appliances in the home work together to reduce peak energy pricing costs, eliminate the need to pull power from the grid, and, ultimately, to reduce the carbon footprint of the home.

maxem_installed

Dynamic Scaling

Maxem speaks in kilowatt-hours as the universal language of energy and can dynamically scale the power consumption of these major consumption units to smooth out the power pulled by the home.

For example, if the EV is charging during the middle of the day, the power from the rooftop PV solar system can be directly funneled into the EV instead of pulling from the grid. In markets where net metering accommodations are not available or are not consumer friendly, keeping PV generation on site is a big benefit.

The system also dynamically balances home energy usage and EV charging draws to stay under max loads. When home energy usage drops, Maxem intelligently funnels the unused capacity to the EV and, conversely, will slow down EV charging if the home energy usage increases.

maxem_high_low_evcharging

The Dashboard

Underpinning the Maxem hardware is the brains of the operation, which the owner interacts with through a streamlined, modern software dashboard that shows with beautiful simplicity the work being done by the system. Key metrics include Solar Generation, Home Usage, EV Charger Usage, % Sustainable, and other key metrics.

For me, this is data that I pull manually and dump into my home energy tracking spreadsheet, so having an intelligent, beautiful system pull it for me would be a huge win. The metrics are all presented in a “single pane of glass” with obvious color coding that makes it clear how the home is performing vs. the ideal state.

Check out the very recently launched beta of the dashboard here (that actually went live when I was there!) to see what it looks and feels like.

maxem_dashboard

Availability, Pricing, etc.

The Maxem solution is currently available throughout Europe, with global deployments in the works. Due the hardware connectivity of the solution, each region is being assessed individually to ensure the tightest integration possible.

The solution is currently priced at €595, which includes installation by a certified professional. This is sure to be another challenge for the solution, as building a network of certified, trained installers takes time — though, on the upside, the solution install appears fairly straightforward and is something most electricians should be able to tackle.

2 thoughts on “Maxem Adds Intelligence To Residential Home Electric Systems”

  1. Hi Kyle,

    just saw your ‘Leveraging technology….’ op-ed and this climate activist agrees totally. In fact I’ve been trying to push for such an innovation for more than a decade. The social science indicates that science fact or education won’t conquer denial by itself but I think you can use the Net to build a competition that will systematically disprove the denial memes and affirm a much more robust consensus about climate dangers and mitigation options so that even the Trump Admin deniers will find denial untenable.

    I’ve tried to describe such a competition in many op-eds. I found that my idea for innovation was mis-understood as just a wiki or as anti-science or such so I kept on trying to describe more fully. You can get an idea of this innovation by reading the op-eds bundled in iProve: Climate Change and Post-Truth Politics
    http://www.countercurrents.org/henderson031011.htm

    Now I’m a tech midget but I did get a techie opinion from a guy who works on on-line science publication that it would be tech possible but he didn’t seem to think that my vision of competition as denier slayer was important enough to consider more deeply. I’m looking for techies who recognize the climate dangers and urgency to play with the innovations possibilities and maybe, now that post-truth politics is rampant, consider whether developing and leveraging technology to communicate the facts to the public in a way that is universally accepted couldn’t be the most important innovation of 2017.

    bhenderson@dccnet.com if you are at all interested and thanks for your work and let’s look forward to success in 2017,

    Bill Henderson Gibsons, BC

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