Fat Spaniel gets $18 million for alt energy monitoring

Is your solar system running? No, it's not the set-up for a crank call. Fat Spaniel Technologies sells software that figures out whether and how well it works.

Fat Spaniel Technologies, which makes software that lets you know how much power you're getting from that new solar system, has raised $18 million in another round of funding.

The company has created software with an intuitive interface that monitors the amount of electricity that a solar, wind or another alternative energy system generates, how much it saves in carbon dioxide emissions, and other information. The software (along with an associated service) effectively lets consumers and business owners justify their investments. Additionally, if the power coming from a solar panel drops suddenly or an battery pack stops working properly, Fat Spaniel's Insight Manager will ping someone in operations that a problem may have occurred. The data tabulated by the company can also be used to apply for energy credits. In California, the state audits the performance of commercial-sized solar systems above 50 kilowatts before it awards credits.

Chris Beekhuis Fat Spaniel Technologies

It also brings a video game mentality to energy savings, founder Chris Beekhius has noted. Once you can see what you're wasting, you'll save more, he has said. (The company's name comes from his dog.)

Fat Spaniel has 1,000 installations in 12 countries so far, but most of the installations have been in the U.S., Beekhius said. Customers include Wal-Mart Stores and SunEdison, a utility specializing in green electricity. Fat Spaniel plans to use the funding to expand sales and marketing to international markets. Spain in particular, which has been growing rapidly, will be a target market.

In Fiji and Vanuatu, cellular companies have installed the software to track solar panels installed on remote antennas. Most of the company's customers are businesses, although it also has some residential customers. Fat Spaniel competes with Natural Logic.

Earlier, Fat Spaniel, which is one of the companies you see quite a bit at green tech conferences, raised $9.2 million. The investors include Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials. Applied is expanding rapidly into the solar business by selling equipment and building factories for solar cell production.

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About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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