Construction sites don't always have access to electricity. Loud, chugging generators, mostly running on diesel fuel, are often the norm on sites, used to power a wide variety of tools, drop lights, and more. With the increasing need for technology on construction sites, demand for reliable power isn't going away anytime soon.
Moxion Power, a creator of mobile energy systems, hopes to change all that. The company just raised $10 million in a Series A funding round to grow its electric equipment rental solutions. Its mobile products are meant to provide power to construction sites, as well as events and situations in which public utilities aren't available.
The Richmond, California-based company has also inked pilot rental programs with large contractors, including Turner, Swinerton, Webcor, and DPR. The funding will be used to help develop a rental location in the San Francisco Bay area that should open in late 2022.
The problems with the status quo
The current default on construction sites is diesel generators, which can be noisy and smelly, making them unwelcome in neighborhoods and indoors. Exhaust from these generators can also be unhealthy for construction workers. The construction industry has tried to reform by using newer generators that reduce emissions, but many sites are still using older machines.
Diesel generators also have a problem known as wet stacking. Wet stacking happens when a diesel generator isn't running at the optimum temperature or below its usual power load, which happens pretty often on construction sites. The result is the collection of black gunk around the exhaust. It's not just gross -- it can also shorten the life span of equipment.
When we think of construction waste, much of the conversation centers around materials, but energy is another place where construction sites have the potential to trim their sails a bit. In addition to all of the other cost increases construction has faced recently, the cost of diesel is also up significantly year over year.
One thing that the Moxion Power system offers that's particularly important to those concerned about ESG factors is that it provides a calculation of emissions saved. When we think about the Internet of Things, generators aren't usually high on the list, but because the Moxion Power generators are connected, they can be easily monitored and tracked. Using technology like this is just another way real estate innovation is making its way onto the construction site.
Moxion CEO Paul Huelskamp sees this current moment as a prime opportunity, given the potential of the Biden infrastructure bill, saying in a press release, "Rebuilding and modernizing our nation's infrastructure will result in significant private and public-sector demand for Moxion's technology and services and create entirely new addressable markets for our products, such as EV fleet charging within the transportation and e-commerce industries."
The Millionacres bottom line
Consumers are demanding energy efficiency in their homes, and more cities are requiring buildings to be energy smart. The move away from gas-guzzling engines and toward electric cars and trucks keeps accelerating. It's only a matter of time before more attention is paid to energy conservation on construction sites. Moxion was only founded in 2020 and fresh out of the Y Combinator program but is growing rapidly.
The issue of construction waste needs to be solved from many different angles. While the construction industry has been slow to change, the increase in the availability of data is starting to show the places where construction can refine their processes -- not just saving money but potentially contributing to saving the planet as well.