Turntide acquires Riptide to expand building automation

  • March 8, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Turntide Technologies is acquiring fellow Californian company Riptide, a building automation firm whose software is driving the transition to smart, cloud-managed buildings.

Turntide is known for its smart motor system, a sustainable electric motor with digital control.

Buildings are responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide. According to the US Department of Energy, one-third of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Smart building technology adds an intelligent layer to reduce this waste and inefficiency by automatically controlling lighting, air conditioning, heating, ventilation and other essential systems.

Riptide’s application automates building management to optimise comfort and productivity, while reducing downtime and energy consumption. Most importantly, it works with the equipment that building owners already have. The acquisition of Riptide’s building automation should accelerate the development of Turntide’s BOS building operating system.

Turntide launched the BOS in 2019. Its first implementation was an environmental service for animal-centred dairy barn operations, in partnership with VES, now VES-Artex. Turntide provided the efficient motors to power VES’s first direct drive dairy fans and the IoT infrastructure that makes VES-Artex powered barns intelligent. The system collects data from environmental sensors in the barn to adjust barn lighting, ventilation and cooling automatically. It also provides round-the-clock monitoring of components and conditions, thus optimising health and comfort for animals and farm workers in dairies around the world.

In acquiring Riptide, Turntide plans to expand further into building automation by improving and extending its BOS to office buildings, retail locations, schools and more. Riptide’s application helps users manage over 4.6 million square metres of space. Turntide will continue to support these customers.

“In 2021, the state of building automation resembles the computer industry in 1980,” said Turntide’s CEO Ryan Morris. “The largest buildings have expensive, mainframe-like control systems, and the vast majority of buildings operate in the absence of data and intelligent control. Moore’s Law continues to drive the cost curve down, making it feasible to bundle effective building automation with our efficient HVAC smart motor upgrades. At Turntide, our vision is to upgrade all the world’s motors to intelligent motor systems, making every watt of energy worthwhile for humanity.”

Turntide sees the acquisition of Riptide as an accelerant to managing buildings of all sizes.

“To optimise energy use, we have been developing our software capability beyond the motor to support the efficient management of all facets of each building,” said Morris. “Today, only the world’s largest buildings can access legacy automation systems, but over time all buildings can be intelligently managed. Our acquisition of Riptide will help us democratise automation to buildings of all types and sizes.”

As part of the acquisition, all Riptide employees including founders Mike Franco, Dave Leimbrock, Marti Ogram and Shawn Leimbrock will be joining Turntide.

“With the full transition to renewable energy sources still years away, integrating software to create smart buildings accelerates the reduction of industries’ carbon footprints,” said Franco, CEO of Riptide. “Building automation and electric motors go hand-in-hand. We are excited to help Ryan and his team turn the tide on climate change.”

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Turntide combines its switched reluctance motor with IoT building automation technology to improve efficiency. Turntide sells motors in form factors for a number of applications, up to 15HP.

Founded in 2012, Riptide combines Silicon Valley technology and a long history in HVAC and control systems. It has created technology for building owners that offers visibility and control over brick-and-mortar operations, without being onsite. The company’s technology stack creates an end-to-end platform to deliver building optimisation regardless of what equipment a building owner has in place. Riptide is a member of Intel’s IoT Alliance and has offices in Santa Barbara, California, and Bangalore, India.