Axiom Cloud, an Oakland, California (U.S.)-based developer of digital solutions aimed at retail grocery’s energy and maintenance challenges, has joined the world’s leading CO2 (R744) refrigeration companies as a bronze partner of the marketplace.

Axiom Cloud has developed three artificial intelligence (AI)-based apps for commercial refrigeration: Virtual Technician, Facilities Analyzer and Virtual Battery.

Virtual Technician identifies refrigerant leaks undetected by leak sensors, and looks for signs of other anomalies in a refrigeration system, including compressor floodback, setpoint changes and defrost issues.

The Facilities Analyzer app complements the Virtual Technician by showing energy and refrigeration trends across multiple sites and identifying basic problems.

Virtual Battery, leverages a store’s refrigeration system to save energy costs.

At a grocery store in Southern California, the Virtual Technician app was able to catch the beginning of a liquid flooding event in the suction header of a medium-temperature rack – which could have severely damaged the compressors if allowed to progress.

In May 2021, at a Grocery Outlet supermarket in Northern California, the Virtual Technician detected a slow leak of R507 refrigerant that was not detected by the store’s leak sensors.

First CO2 stores

Axiom Cloud is currently deploying its first few stores with CO2 (R744) refrigeration systems for a U.S. retailer, though none are fully operational yet. “All three apps work the same way for hydrocarbon and CO2 stores, though some changes to the underlying thermophysical models and data analytics are necessary for CO2 stores,” said Amrit Robbins, CEO of Axiom Cloud.

Axiom Cloud’s apps are currently operational at about 35 stores across four major North American grocery chains, including Grocery Outlet and Whole Foods Market, according to Robbins, who added that contracts have been signed to deploy the apps at more than 40 additional stores.

All three of Axiom Cloud’s apps, which can be installed in under a day, are provided on a software-as-a-service basis. “Our customers typically recover their initial setup fees in three-to- nine months, and then receive a three-to-six times return on their subscription fees every month thereafter,” said Robbins.

An on-site IoT (Internet of Things) Gateway and on-site power meters may be necessary to enable the Virtual Battery and Virtual Technician apps at some sites. The Facilities Analyzer can be installed with no hardware at certain sites via remote integration with existing refrigeration controllers.

Axiom was founded in 2014 and since mid-2020 has focused solely on developing and deploying apps for commercial refrigeration. In January 2021, Axiom announced that it raised a $1.1 million seed round of funding led by Ulu Ventures, with participation from Powerhouse Ventures, Correlation Ventures and others.

“Our customers typically recover their initial setup fees in three-to-nine months, and then receive a three-to-six times return on their subscription fees every month thereafter.”

Amrit Robbins, Axiom Cloud

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