TechInAfrica — A Cape Town-based smart solar geyser startup, Plentify, has been crowned the winner of SA finals of the EDF Pulse Africa innovation contest.
EDF, a French electric utility company stated that the startup was selected as the winner for bringing the solution which turns water heaters into grid-connected thermal batteries which intelligently ‘recharge’ when there’s excess electricity on the grid.
EDF mentioned that Plentify improves reliability, decreasing reliance on the generation which is dirty and expensive, which saves households over 50% of their water heating costs.
Plentify was founded by Jon Kornik in 2017. They do this with an Internet-of-Things (IoT) controller that is easy to install, a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) engine which turns each of the water heaters on or off, according to the grid and the users’ need.
The third EDF Pulse Africa challenge intends to reveal and give support to African innovators that are committed to Africa’s development in energy. This challenge also targets to identify potential partners by discovering Africa’s hidden talent in technology and to encourage innovation by involving local entrepreneurs in innovative development.
The EDF Pulse Africa this year has launched the EDF Pulse Africa Tour held in seven countries including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Togo.
Plentify will participate in the grand finale which will be held in Paris this November. The other six national finalists from each participating country will join the grand final as well.
Each of the winners of the EDF Pulse Africa final will receive rewards starting from €5,000 to €15,000. The winners will also receive support including operational and financial advice, project development partnerships with local stakeholders such as incubators and access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem which includes EDF’s research and development and creativity labs.
There are seven finalists in total that were selected to compete in the SA final which all are presented energy solutions.
EDF Southern Africa VP, Luc Koechlin said, “Selecting the seven finalists was quite a challenge given the originality and quality of the projects we received.
“We are proud to support South African startup companies whose ambitious projects will be part of the energy solutions for tomorrow,” he further added.