Apollo v1.27

Nithya Menon
June 28, 2021


Data-outage billing

Previously, load usage calculations (and therefore billing) were based on load sensor readings being sent from each Pod to the cloud. These readings are stored onboard the Pods local memory storage in the form of snapshots, but if a loss in the connection between the Pod and cloud persists, the accumulation of sensor reading snapshots can easily exceed the limit of local storage which results in gaps in the data. Without this data, we don’t know how much energy a household consumed, and our payments system cannot bill accordingly.

Several firmware releases ago, the Pod began to keep a rolling track of total consumption data points and storing it every hour. It can store up to 1 week’s worth of hourly values but even if the pod is offline longer than that, the total usage is still captured (just not with hourly granularity).

This Apollo cloud release processes and integrates this rolling usage value into existing billing architecture, making billing resilient to patchy data and also making it possible to bill for days past that could not be billed for the reasons mentioned above. All in all, this feature eliminates lost consumption data and enables our customers to recover lost revenue.

Nithya Menon is an engineering graduate from Harvey Mudd College who has spent her career developing technology targeted towards empowering marginalized and developing communities worldwide. She has been pivotal in designing Okra's key power-sharing algorithms, IoT firmware, and grid management software - and now drives the direction and strategy of Okra's technology as Product Development Lead.