Jennova Inc.


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September 21, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Energy Solutions Engineering



Terry R. Pennisi



Jennova Inc.


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published 9/21/15


CEOCFO: Mr. Pennisi, would you tell us the focus at Jennova today?

Mr. Pennisi: The best way to describe us is an energy solutions engineering company. Our current focus is on our patented Energy Harvesting technology and Self-Powered devices. These devices directly or indirectly work to power smart sensors. The burgeoning IoT (internet of things) market is inundated with various devices that are collecting data and either directly communicating with each other or analytics software. Our Energy Harvester, and related products, enable multiple layers of the IoT to be self-powered, allowing for higher data rates and subsequently a better overall function of data acquisition.


CEOCFO: Why is your method superior?

Mr. Pennisi: Smart energy management is pivotal. Installing the current IoT systems can be very labor intensive, and therefore a huge factor in cost of implementation. New smart-sensor technology allows for an easier installation of the sensors themselves. However, the issue here is power consumption. If the sensor is not hard wired in, which is additionally laborious from a cost perspective, then it must be battery powered. Most battery powered sensors require the battery to be changed every six months to three years, additionally these sensor do not always have high enough iteration rates to maximize the benefit of the data gathered or monitored. With energy harvesting, you have a continuous source of power for the smart-sensors; once installed they will run indefinitely. There are many kinds of energy harvesting; our process is electrodynamics, meaning when a magnetic presence passes by a conductor it creates energy and our patented technology captures that energy and acts as an amplifier to create usable amounts of power.


CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape?

Mr. Pennisi: Wireless sensors are relatively new since around the year “2000.” With lithium battery technology, they have been growing somewhat slowly. Energy harvesting as a viable solution is newer and something in the order of six to eight years. There is photovoltaic what we call solar but in most factories and buildings there is light and if you have light with a photovoltaic cell you have some power. There is another kind of energy harvester called Thermal and they use the difference between a hot machine and a normal room temperature to create small electric currents. There is also a piezo energy harvester which uses vibrations. In most factories, machines are vibrating as they are making noise. The piezo crystals generate a certain amount of voltage and you are able to harvest that. We as a company went out to an energy harvesting session in San Francisco last fall where there were different types of energy harvesting booths in place and what surprised us was that most of the energy harvesting was very low powered, typically in the microwatt range. Our energy harvesters can easily make sixteen milowatts and if we can gain them together we can generate as much as 64 milowatts. What that means is you can have much more powerful transmitters and they can send their data far more often.


CEOCFO: Where are you in development?

Mr. Pennisi: We are continually working to improve our technology and broaden the range of viable harvesting sources. We have been testing this technology for some years now. At present our rotation sensor and our Energy-Harvesting Evaluation kit are ready-to-order products. Because gathering energy is only part of a business's complete solution we hope to find companies, individuals, or groups that are interested in developing EH powered solutions together.


CEOCFO: Does the industry that would be purchasing your products know Jennova?

Mr. Pennisi: We are just starting to come up to speed. We just got back from a sustainability manufacturer’s conference in Illinois. They are big on monitoring energy use and water use and natural gas use. They have a lot of software to do that but I was surprised to find out that they were doing the data collection manually. They did not know that smart sensors and that this technology existed.


CEOCFO: Why do you think that now is the time that people will pay attention?

Mr. Pennisi: For one the Internet of Things is still in the beginning stages of development, and smart energy usage is key to making the IoT a reality. I was surprised at how many corporations are really starting to realize that they need to be corporate citizens. In addition to being in business to make a profit, which is quite appropriate, they are realizing that they need to be responsible with the resources that they use and they need to be responsible with the suppliers that they use. They need to make sure they are not using toxic metals and that type of thing. There is this whole awakening to my surprise and my delight that corporate America needs to be a citizen’s corporation. It is the right thing to do. Consumers are asking many questions such as where was this product made and what is it made from.


CEOCFO: Are you expecting any skepticism?

Mr. Pennisi: As a small and relatively young company, yes I think some skepticism is appropriate. It is the kind of new technology that you need to touch and see. We did several detailed engineering tests where we captured raw data and created power curves to see the voltage and power being generated for the various devices that we have. That helps any engineer who looks at our device and understands that under these conditions, it is the kind of power they can expect. It is new and I think there will be an aha moment when they see it.


CEOCFO: Were you thinking of the internet before the curve or were you able to jump on quickly?

Mr. Pennisi: It is an interesting story. Our original technology was an automotive Tachometer that was wireless. We are members of SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Assoc.), which makes many aftermarket automotive products. Our first patent is on this wireless Tachometer for your car. You set up the sensor and do not have to run any wires. It is a unique device. At the SEMA show people were coming up to the booth and saying it would be fantastic for the industrial world and I had never thought about that. I began to realize that the energy harvesting was an important aspect of it. We were at a sensor show and demonstrating our wireless technology and I was contemplating the energy harvesting. Right next to us was a wireless sensor company and they were making mini sensors and everybody loved them. It went directly to the internet except for the battery. They kept complaining about the battery. I went and talked to them and told them we had a device that we believed would power their sensors. They said they were not interested. I went ahead and bought four of their sensors, set it up in my lab and experimented with my energy harvesting just to see if it would power it. As we speak, it is powering four of their sensors and going to the internet with no battery. It is a neat thing. They are very open to us being an OEM. We have been in some discussions. They may make their product and put our name on it and we would just sell direct; it would be their product but with our energy. That is one of the production avenues we are potentially pursuing.


CEOCFO: What have you learned on the business side since you started the company?

Mr. Pennisi: One thing is very important and is in an area where I feel tremendously blessed and that is you need a team. You need to look at your strengths and to know your weaknesses. I have been very fortunate with the people and vendors that make up my team. You cannot do it all so get a good team. That is a path towards success.


CEOCFO: Why pay attention to Jennova?

Mr. Pennisi: I think Jennova is an example of the future of small business. It is using the latest and newest technology in a very efficient way to being a corporation that wants to do what is good for the environment, wants to do what will help propel companies. My experience has been that the more information you have, the more informed decisions you can make on many levels. Being a company that is putting into the hands of many other businesses and government agencies the ability to integrate smart sensing and do it cheaply (the installation process being inexpensive). The more we know the better we can take care of our company, resources and each other. That is our vision.


“It is the kind of new technology that you need to touch and see.” - Terry R. Pennisi


Jennova Inc.






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