The Tie Controller

The Tie Controller can allow the existing electricity grid to host up to 3X more distributed energy resources (rooftop solar, EVs, storage).

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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Yes, I fulfill all the eligibility criteria

First Name

Lane

Last Name

Nelson

Email

LNelson@switchedsource.com

Phone Number

3128904074

Gender

  • Man

What is the Name of Your Organization?

Switched Source LLC

What is The Mission of Your Organization?

Switched Source's mission is to increase the reliability, efficiency, and renewable energy hosting capacity, on legacy grid infrastructure and in distributed energy system applications. The New York based company provides power-electronics solutions so that utility, commercial, and industrial system owner-operators can update and fortify electric distribution systems, to match rapid advancements in energy generation and reliability needs.

What is The Month and Year of The Founding of Your Venture?

October 2015

What is Your Organization's Website URL (optional)

www.switchedsource.com

What is The First and Last Name of Your Organization's Representative for The Challenge?

Charles Murray

What is Their Organizational Role/Title?

CEO

Project Stage: Select the Description Below That Best Applies to Your Organization

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Please Select Your Organization's Focus Track (Select all That Apply)

  • Built Environment

Please Select Which of The Following Types of Innovations Best Characterize Your Work (Select all That Apply)

  • Product innovation (Introduction of a good or service or improvements made to existing products)

Please Upload Your Organizational Pitch Deck or Video

Help Us Support Diversity! Which of the following categories do you identify with (Optional)?  

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French)

Help Us Support Diversity! Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities (optional)?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

Please email proof of incorporation to Challenge Manager- Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org) (for example, a certificate of incorporation, copy of your business license, etc.).

  • Uploaded

We would like insight into the financial and operational health of your organization. Therefore, please send at least one of the financial documents below to Challenge Manager Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org)

  • Uploaded

Why is the problem that your organization is solving important to you and your co-founders/team?

Members on the team have up to 30 years of individual experience at both energy product startups and major OEMs, as well as independent power producers, working on flagship product launches or energy asset installations (wind, storage). That experience has provided unique insights on the extent of critical vulnerabilities present in the electricity delivery infrastructure across the vast majority of the US (and globe), with risk implications for system reliability, efficiency, clean energy adoption, and national security. We're driven to resolve these issues with a cost-effective solution.

Please provide 1-2 examples of your product/organization making an impact on a city.

1. Increased Reliability: Users that would normally be left without power for minutes or even days in the event of a fault while repair crews are dispatched, may now recover instantaneously as the system borrows excess capacity from a separate line. 2. DER Hosting Capacity: The Tie Controller provides a retrofit solution for legacy infrastructure to be able to accept and fully utilize up to 3X more distributed energy resources (DER), such as rooftop solar or electric vehicles.

Fast forward 15-20 years. What does your organization look like? What is the impact that it's had on society?

By the year ~2040, our technology will have been adopted as a retrofit for most of the legacy infrastructure that spans across the United States, and will have been exported to significant portions of the global market. As a result, electricity distribution infrastructure will be capable of serving as bi-directional energy platform, allowing for substantial improvements in clean energy adoption, resiliency, and efficiency of the system, despite growing technical complications or threats posed by factors like mass electric vehicle use and increasing storm severity.

What differentiates your organization? What makes it so that you can drive a bigger and better benefit to society than other organizations in this space?

Our competitive advantage stems from the patented design topology of our technology paired with unmatched trade secret in power-electronics controls algorithms, so that our technology can perform large scale grid optimization benefits using lower-cost sub-components and within the footprint of a 20-ft shipping container. The Tie Controller technology can allow electric distribution system operators to realize benefits consistent with large-scale energy storage or microgrid deployments, at a small fraction of the associated cost and physical size.

What is the key barrier today to your organization unlocking the maximum amount of impact on society?

Our key barrier today is the perceived risk of a new technology category and the challenges that poses in the eyes of conservative institutional customers. We are within weeks of deploying our technology for a major electric utility company. Early pilot deployments will go a long way in gaining market credibility, but we still face the challenge of securing early adopters for high-volume deployments. Additionally, cash flow is a growth constraint. With our primary grant funding being paid as reimbursement after expenses, we are consistently managing working capital.

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