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We Offer All-in-one Remote Monitoring And Control Solutions For Solar And Water Systems: Max Spannagel, Chief Operating Officer, EcoPhi Renewables Engineering

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MAX SPANNAGEL CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ECOPHI RENEWABLES ENGINEERING

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Key Highlights:

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  • We started expanding our services in East Africa and now have projects in more than 15 countries on the African continent.
  • We offer a monitoring solution that is compatible with both solar and water systems and independent of the system type and size.
  • There is a huge potential for artificial intelligence, which can help provide predictive maintenance.

Kindly introduce us to your company and its journey so far.

Our company EcoPhi is a remote monitoring and control provider, but our journey started as an EPC for solar and water systems in Ethiopia. During our time as an EPC, we have discovered that many solar and water systems lack a proper remote monitoring solution. We had difficulties managing and operating the plants, so we decided to develop our own remote monitoring and control system. As we saw an increasing demand for these solutions, we have completely shifted our company focus to that new business field. We started expanding our services in East Africa and now have projects in more than 15 countries on the African continent.

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What are your product offerings in the African region?

We offer all-in-one remote monitoring and control solutions for solar and water systems. All-in-one means that we have both the monitoring devices that are easy to install and compatible with most of the common brands and also the software to be able to visualize and manage the systems. This enables EPCs, operators and O&M service providers to manage all their systems with one central solution.

For energy audits and system sizing, we have a special solution that enables companies to create real-time load profiles and helps to quickly analyze the data to be able to properly size a system. This can help for sizing C&I systems or when replacing generator-powered systems with solar.

Could you give us the key highlights of your remote monitoring solutions?

On the African continent, there often is a strong link between solar and water. Many solar companies in Africa also work in water pumping and vice versa. Yet, the solutions for monitoring these systems are completely different and often not sufficient. We offer a monitoring solution that is compatible with both solar and water systems and independent of the system type and size.

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We have three monitoring boxes for the different system sizes and complexity. This way we can efficiently monitor small and simple but also larger or more complex systems. All boxes are plug-and-play, which makes installation extremely easy and fast. On the cloud platform, we have several features like fleet management, analyses, reporting, alarms or exports.

One key advantage of our solution is that it can be customized to all the stakeholders involved in the projects, meaning that we can provide several dashboards, reports or alarms for the different stakeholder groups. This way, different teams and external partners such as banks or funding organizations can be provided with the specific information they need.

What are some tech trends we are likely to see in the region in the coming future?

There is a huge potential for artificial intelligence, which can help provide predictive maintenance. This will especially be interesting for projects that are located remotely and where maintenance is expensive due to long travels. Also, this will increase plant efficiency and system uptime.

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What is your growth plan for the next year?

We will expand our services in more countries in Africa and we are currently getting new distributors on board to be able to provide our systems faster. At the end of next year, we are planning to have projects in more than 25 countries on the continent.

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