Charged up: Power startups say their time has come - by The Age
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
Daniel Lawes wants to solve the solar storage challenges of Australian households using the humble hot water tank.
"Let’s look at what people already have in their homes and take the effort away from the homeowner," he says.
The British entrepreneur has relocated to Australia in hopes of launching his energy storage startup, Powerdiverter, to the local market.
The former carpenter has lead a team to develop a control system that tracks the available solar power a household generates throughout the day and can divert energy to a home's hot water system.
A new product from the business will also look to power airconditioning units directly from a home's solar.
It's taken around $500,000 in a mix of bootstrapping and grants to develop the technology in the UK. The startup took part in a three-month intensive this year with Startup Bootcamp and Energy Australia along with a cohort of global energy startups to work on its long-term strategy.
The Australian market Lawes says has huge potential, because while households are engaged with solar and clean tech solutions, battery and storage technology has taken some time to get off the ground.
"Very early on, we noticed that nobody was really using the power they were generating. Batteries were a good idea, but nobody was really selling them."
Powerdiverter plans to enter the battery storage space this year to complement its other energy storage solutions.
The units, which cost $650 to purchase and install, save a typical household $450 per year. The business has so far installed close to 500 units in Australia and made $2.8 million since launch when sales from the UK are included.