Techopia Live: Spectrafy co-founders making solar spectral data affordable

Techopia Live put the lights on Spectrafy this week, an Ottawa-based startup with the federal government’s seal of approval. Co-founders Richard Beal and Viktar Tatsiankou dropped by tell us why, in their words, “the future looks bright” for the company.

For one, the firm recently landed a contract with Natural Resources Canada to develop a national network of solar spectral sensors. Across the country, in places as remote as Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, the firm’s sensors will record detailed measurements of sunlight in the atmosphere.

These sensors generate data on the state of Canada’s environment, as well as information on the country’s solar resource potential. The solar energy industry is just one sector interested in data like this; modern meteorological and agricultural industries require specific measurements to optimize yields or provide accurate forecasts.

“Those industries are increasingly demanding the highest quality of solar and atmospheric data in order to de-risk their businesses. And now with our sensors, they can do that in a way that’s practical and affordable,” Beal told Techopia Live.

Beal says that Spectrafy’s solution, which was developed based on research done at the University of Ottawa’s SUNLAB, bridges a gap in the market. Many cheaper solar sensors measure a single thing and are deployed widely in the industry. On the other hand, more expensive and complex sensors are usually relegated to scientific research.

Beal and Tatsiankou say their product – a combination of rugged hardware and proprietary software – could become the new industry standard for spectral sensors. They say this market approach allows them to sell directly to a large chunk of the solar energy market, as opposed to developing their own panels to compete with existing players.

Landing a significant contract with the federal government has been a great marketing tool for Spectrafy. Beal says the firm has been approached by other international meteorological organizations with interests in creating similar networks.

To hear more about Spectrafy’s unique technology, watch the video above.