Reactive Technologies: Balancing energy production and consumption

Tekes 9.5.2017 7.20
News item

Imbalances in the national grid will lead to serious problems. Reactive Technologies has developed a solution to this problem and gained worldwide recognition, won numerous awards and attracted major investments.

Founded in the city of Oulu, Finland in 2010, Reactive Technologies is run by experienced professionals from sectors such as the semiconductor industry and telecommunications, including Nokia. The company's main product is Tradenergy, a cloud-based Demand Side Management (DSM) solution for the intelligent management of energy consumption. DSM refers to a system which improves grid reliability and energy efficiency, while facilitating the production of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Reactive Technologies also develops technology for areas such as the decentralised measurement and analysis of energy consumption.

The concept also convinced the global consultancy, Frost & Sullivan; in 2016 it recognised Reactive Technologies as the European Energy Management Company of the Year.

"This not only gives us publicity, but also takes our credibility among customers to an entirely new level," says Kari Autio, Chief Operating Officer of Reactive Technologies.

The grounds for the award included the company's unique Grid Data and Measurement System (GDMS), its advanced automated software platform for the customers' energy production and consumption management, and its visionary and disruptive technology that will change the energy sector.

In February 2017, Reactive also received two UK awards, namely the Rushlight Energy Environmental Award and the Rushlight Energy Efficiency Award.

Finnish technology with an impact

GDMS technology enables digital messages to be sent, via the electricity network, through transformers and without the need to add repeater units, which simplifies the network structure and cuts costs. These data messages can be used, for example, to make simple changes in load behaviour at a desired time or under the desired conditions. Such changes can be similar to the control of the so-called night-rate electricity available in Finland. This is a major advantage compared to the old system.

Reactive has been developing the technology for several years and has tested its functionality in demos alongside its partners, the UK National Grid and the energy company SSE. Although the implementation of an entire communication system is still a long way off, GDMS has been proven to work, and no comparable systems are known to exist.

GDMS and its data analytics also provide network operators with a more accurate picture of how electricity is produced and consumed in the distribution network, and how this affects the network (e.g. inertia variation). This information is crucial when irregular, decentralised power production, such as solar and wind power, is connected to the national grid for new forms of consumption, such as electric cars and accumulators.

"Consumers and small-scale electricity production will become part of the overall electricity network. Consumers can independently and intelligently control their own behaviour on the basis of the local situation, in order to balance the entire network and ensure its high-quality operation," says Autio, envisioning the near future.

Reactive's product development is located in Oulu, while its sales and senior management are based in London, and commercial and technical support for operations in Paris. Reactive's staff numbers have doubled over the last 12 months and are expected to grow in 2017. The company is currently recruiting software developers, particularly backend experts.

Major international customers

The greatest business potential exists in free electricity markets, where energy distribution and sales have been separated from one another. Reactive's key customers include major European grocery chains, industry, energy suppliers and national grid operators. For example, France-based Carrefour, one of the world's largest hypermarket chains, recently implemented Reactive's DSM solution.

Last year, Octopus Investments UK, a large capital investments company, invested in Reactive Technologies.

"We will use the investment for business development, particularly in Great Britain and France, for product development and for building cooperation with national grid and distribution network operators."

The Team Finland network supports growth companies

Reactive Technologies has received Tekes funding for the development of algorithms for its DSM platform, energy consumption coordination methods, and methods and algorithms for the measurement of and communications in the electricity network.

"Our development work has helped us understand the interaction between frequency, power consumption and production in the electricity network, as well as to apply the traditional methods of signal processing, telecommunications and software development in a new way. We have also actively protected our innovations through patents," explains Autio.

In addition to Tekes, Reactive Technologies has received early-stage support through Finnvera funding and Finpro's internationalisation services.

For further information, please contact

Kari Autio
Reactive Technologies
Tel. +358 40 167 6545
karia (at) reactive-technologies.com
www.reactive-technologies.com