San Francisco-based startup Arch Rock, which has been making wireless energy sensors for years, now has rolled out a new integrated system for putting them to their most effective use.

The complete Energy Optimizer system – including Internet protocol (IP)-based wireless energy sensors, the router that collects their data, and a one-year subscription to the company's new Energy Visibility Portal – will cost about $10,000.

For a company that spends more than that on power every year, the system should pay for itself in energy savings in a year or two, CEO Roland Acra said.

Of course, building systems management is a big and thriving industry, with players like Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens and Echelon well established.

But Acra believes that Arch Rock can do a better job of focusing on energy usage, whereas most building management systems were designed for system scheduling and control.

He also pointed out that many building automation systems are proprietary, whereas Arch Rock's devices are IP-enabled, making their data more easily exported to a variety of management and control systems to come. The company uses 6LoWPAN, a standard for using IP over wireless networks.

While Arch Rock doesn't make devices to control energy use by building systems – that could be in the company's future, Acra said. Arch Rock has raised $15 million in two rounds of venture capital funding from investors including NEA Vetures, Intel Capital and Shasta Ventures.

Making wireless energy sensors and controls is a growing field amidst rising energy prices and billions of dollars of incentives for energy efficiency in the stimulus package signed into law in February (see Obama Signs Stimulus Package).

Redwood City, Calif.-based Sentilla Corp. has raised $13.5 million to commercialize its Sentilla Mini wireless energy sensors for use in data centers. The company got its start monitoring energy use in such fields as warehouses, agriculture and aluminum smelters (see Sentilla Raises $7.5M to Compete in Data Center Power Fray).

Hayward, Calif.-based Dust Networks has developed ultra-low power wireless devices that are embedded in industrial sensor and control devices made by companies such as Emerson and General Electric. Now the startup, which has raised about $46 million from investors including Foundation Capital, Cargill Ventures, Crescendo Ventures and the CIA's venture arm In-Q-Tel, is looking into monitoring energy use in data centers and performance of utility-scale solar power projects, CEO Joy Weiss said.

Wireless sensor device maker Crossbow may be coming into the space soon as well. The San Jose, Calif.-based company makes wireless sensors for such customers as Honeywell, BP, and a host of military and government clients.

And Toronto-based Regen Energy has developed wireless energy sensors that use "swarm logic" to manage individual devices' energy usage automatically, and says a typical system can be installed for about $10,000 (see this Green Light post).  

Lighting is also a hot spot for sensors that can turn lights on and off depending on whether people are in the room (see Acuity Buys Sensor Switch for $205M to Offer More Efficient Lighting).

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