AI In Energy Use Case #1: Verdigris Technologies

  • 13 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

This interview is part of our new AI in Energy series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and energy.

In this interview, we speak with Mark Chung, co-founder and CEO of Verdigris Technologies, to understand how his company is using AI to transform energy, and what the future of the energy industry holds.

Mark Chung

1. What’s the story behind Verdigris Technologies? Why and how did you begin?

MC: Several years ago, I experienced a massive spike in my energy bill. After three expensive months of 5x bills, several wasted trips to Home Depot, and numerous fruitless conversations with Pacific Gas and Electric, my co-founders and I discovered a way to use deep packet inspection algorithms, which we'd been researching in our day jobs, to map electricity from a common source in my house. This discovery eventually helped solve my energy bill and introduced us to the world of energy analytics. The birth of my son in 2010, and the purchase of our last company ignited a desire to launch Verdigris to marry our technical skills to the greatest existential threat facing humanity: climate change. Verdigris was founded so we can leverage technical skills to sustain and enrich human life.

2. Please describe your use case and how Verdigris Technologies uses artificial intelligence:

MC: Artificial intelligence augments traditional electrical data with context and awareness. Our AI separates electrical information collected by individual sensors. This allows us to create virtualized sensors for individual appliances.  It also provides context-rich labels for energy managers, e.g. highlighting critical equipment, end-use of equipment and identifying where sources and sinks of energy are occurring.

Our AI also produces forecasts for energy modeling the usage at a granular level throughout the building. With this, we can provide intelligent alerting and predictive analytics for electrical equipment.

Lastly, we use AI to automate the optimization of control systems, specifically energy storage and building management systems. All these techniques combine to reduce downtime, increase security, productivity and performance of critical assets and reduce overall energy consumption.

3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?

MC: Grand Hyatt Hotel is a premier brand and one of the largest operators in hospitality. Their flagship hotel in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square delivers an unmatched hospitality experience. To exceed the exacting expectations of guests, the hotel operates 24/7 with peak efficiency and minimal disruption to comfort. Verdigris Advanced AI energy management is at the heart of enabling this.

Hyatt leverages our systems to provide retail tenants like Apple with the most reliable and accurate real-time demand information for accurate cost sharing of assets such as solar and energy storage on the dynamic utility grid, all provided by the hotel.

Our AI also analyzes and monitors Hyatt's key critical equipment such as refrigeration, central cooling, and heating plants, elevators and escalators, providing alerts when that equipment is nearing failure or operating abnormally.

Finally, our AI automatically maps and adjusts heavy equipment like exhaust fans, chill-water plants, and in-room thermostats to manage the demand used by the hotel, saving them thousands of dollars per month.

The services we provide save this specific hotel several thousand dollars a month. We also provide an increase in guest safety and comfort. Our system costs a flat subscription that is less than 20 percent of the energy savings we provide monthly.

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.