Blog Post

Celebrating the Innovation Behind a Product: A Recap of the 2016 Edison Awards

This month, we were honored by the 2016 Edison Awards with a Silver award for our innovation in Energy & Sustainability for the PHI 2.6 High-Output Battery.

“Our judges recognized SimpliPhi Power as a true innovator out of the many products in its category,” said Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards.

Like any early-stage technology company we have overcome many challenges in the development and commercialization of our high-performance power storage solutions. Typically, these critical accomplishments are not met without public fanfare, so it is very meaningful to have the innovation behind the product and company celebrated beyond our commercialization, market share and sales targets.

Having access to some of the top innovators in the world at the Edison Awards’ series of events ranged from small, early stage companies to multinational corporations dedicated to reinventing themselves. Hearing stories of their innovative technology, products, business models and customer engagement was really exciting and beneficial for me. This, however, was just one of the many unforgettable experiences I had at the Edison Awards, and I’m thrilled to share them with you here.

The Edison Awards ExperienceThe awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison, whose inventions, new
product development methods and innovative achievements literally changed the world. Being recognized with an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business.

During the event, the Edison Award staff embodied the principles of the organization and its mission to such an extent that they added tremendous value to participants in the overall experience. From making attendees feel welcome to facilitating introductions and catalyzing discussion, they provided an engaging and informed backdrop to the entire event.

All the Edison Award attendees were receptive to open exchange and availed themselves beyond their presentations and innovations to explore topics related to some of the biggest challenges plaguing the world today. I truly enjoyed the diverse combination of panel Q&A presentations, with open discussion invited from the floor by NPR’s John Hockenberry, to individual key-notes and round table dialogue between sessions and breaks. This created a really dynamic and robust forum for an exchange of ideas and insights.

Smart Cities

The development of smart cities was a big topic of discussion at the Edison Awards. So many cities have different types of innovative programs that lend themselves to this type of technology and ‘smart’ integration. However, with regard to what industries are most likely to adopt Smart City Technologies, it seems clear that industries and companies that want to remain relevant in both established and emerging markets must be actively engaged in innovation that contributes to the Smart City value proposition.

In my opinion, the most valuable Smart City development would be software and hardware platforms that efficiently and seamlessly integrate distributed power generation, storage and management assets with centralized infrastructure – the grid. In this respect, distributed power storage can, and does, serve to stabilize the grid in aggregate and simultaneously create power security and resiliency for the end-user – at homes, businesses, hospitals schools, etc.

Caterpillar Presentation

At the Edison Awards, we were one of four companies selected out of 20 applicants to give a presentation to Caterpillar Inc. They are the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. For 90 years, Caterpillar has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. The company recently debuted an innovative, turnkey suite of power systems it calls the Cat Microgrid and was curious to learn more about SimpliPhi Power storage products and how they optimize any power generation source in a microgrid applications- fuel, solar, wind, grid – and extend access beyond transmission lines. .

Meeting the Man Behind our Marine Corp Testing

While networking with global innovators was an amazing experience, I was excited to meet up with Colonel Caley, the four-star General who oversaw the rigorous testing of the SimpliPhi Technology at Camp Lejeune Military Base in North Carolina last October.

Through a range of tests by the Marine Corp, SimpliPhi Power’s PHI 2.6kWh 250 Amp High-Output batteries outperformed the baseline control High-Energy Lithium Battery (HELB). The SimpliPhi High-Output batteries withstood extreme discharge and charge parameters to completion, with power to spare for baseline loads, while the HELB battery could not. Marine Corps testers found the SimpliPhi batteries performed above and beyond expectations in providing both mission critical peak-load power, as well as long duration base power, in a form factor that is far lighter and smaller compared to standard battery formats, without a heat signature or the need for ventilation or cooling.

It was a joy to finally meet Colonel Caley in person. His vital role in this testing has helped us provide further evidence of our technology’s high performance and durability.

The Edison Awards’ Lasting Benefits

In addition to receiving an Edison Award, the endorsement of the Edison Award Winning Seal represents a level of independent validation for the innovation behind the SimpliPhi Power storage technology that will serve to further legitimize the product in the marketplace. As well as using the Seal on our website, social media platforms, email signatures and printed company collateral, we plan on adding it on the PHI2.6 kWh 250 Amp battery itself.

The Edison Awards celebrate the evolution and interplay that must take place between the first conception of a mere idea, the execution and transformation of that idea into a working prototype and the ultimate commercialization of that idea into a viable product with market share and value to the general population. Attending this prestigious event has provided a phenomenal opportunity for all of us at SimpliPhi and created an invaluable learning experience. We feel deeply honored to have been a part of it and look forward to carrying on Thomas Edison’s entrepreneurial vision for years to come.