Bishal Madhab and Abhik Das have a thing for big data. And they wanted to use their skills for an impactful cause. So, at the turn of the year 2015, in order to do this, the duo started del2infinity.
The challenge at hand is making a smooth transition into a future of sustainable energy.
Countries across the world, as well as the Indian government, have aggressive plans for moving towards clean energy. And, as the duo explains, the challenge of renewable energy integration is inherently multidisciplinary, and is particularly dependent on the use of data analytics. Bishal is a Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, while Abhik has a solid research background from IIT Kharagpur. At del2infinity, the team designs and develops predictive analytics platforms for clean energy stakeholders.
“We get our clients up and running quickly, and make them self-sufficient with our cloud-basedanalytics platform.Our system leverages statistical machine learning and pattern recognition algorithms, which are developed in-house at del2infinity,” says Bishal. Wind and solar are unstable sources of energy, and it is a challenge to integrate them smoothly into the power grid without compromising on system reliability. Del2infinity’s cloud-based solution provides accurate and timely predictions of energy generation for 10- to 15-minute time periods, thereby maximizing the ROI (return on investment) for clean energy stakeholders.
The prediction is provided a dayahead, along with intra-day revisions, as real-time energy generation data is fed into the system by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks. The product has been tested for an capacity of over 2,500 MW in India.“With the increasing interest in the setting up of Renewable Energy Management Centers (REMCs) in India, del2infinity aims to deploy its predictive analytics solutions as an integral part of such platforms,” says Bishal.
The founders met at a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit research organization founded by a bunch of Carnegie Mellon alumni. There, Bishal was leading projects on Smart Grid and Energy Storage, and Abhik was developing innovative system dynamics models for future scenario analysis, which went on to complement India’s 12th Five Year Plan. While working together for Indo-US consortium-supported projects, Bishal and Abhik saw the potential of the vast amount of data sitting at their disposal, which wasn’t really being employed in doing anything meaningful to change the world. So they started their own research projects in energy analytics,and published their work in internationally reputed journals. But the entrepreneurial itch got the better of the duo, and they both decided to launch del2infinity and started working full-time.
The idea was to use their experience in efficiently and quickly developing predictive analytics algorithms to help the energy industry with ready-to-use solutions. Soon, one of their friends, Sandeep Raghuram,joined them and started guiding them on the business side of the things. The team is currently supported by four part-time engineers and two advisors.
del2infinity’s Analytics as a Service (AaaS) platform gives login access to designated users in client organizations. “For our product in the renewable energy space, del2infinity charges a flat set-up fees based on installed wind/solar capacity, and a monthly service fees (per MW),” says Bishal, about the revenue model.
Businesses today churn out huge amount of data. Some of them hire expensive data scientists, and set up fancy ‘data science labs’. del2infinity provides an alternative to this, wherein wind/solar generators and grid operators can simply outsource their data analytics problems to them without needing to bother about acquiring, maintaining and retaining analytics skills. del2infinity faces some competition from international players in the field of energy generation forecasting, but for this startup, the advantage lies in developing its offerings based on Indian conditions, including regulatory framework and forecasting accuracy expectations.
In the future, till our computers reach the level of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), as shown in science fiction, the intervention of human analysts will be necessary in producing actionable insights. India has massive targets for clean energy in the next few years. del2infinity envisions facilitating a smooth transition to a future of sustainable energy,by providing predictive insights on these clean, but unstable sources of energy.