Connected Real Estate Magazine - Vol 1 Issue 2 - 4
VOLTSERVER SOLUTION PROVIDES POWER THAT IS
SAFE TO TOUCH
BY KRISTEN BECKMAN
hen electricity stays within its designated
circuit, power flowing along its expected path,
amazing things happen. Electricity injects life
into almost all of the modern conveniences we
When electricity leaves its designated circuit, however,
either through loose connections or an unsuspecting person
touching an exposed wire, tragedies can happen.
But what if the circuit was smart enough to stop the flow
of electricity in the split second when dangerous amounts of
electricity begin to escape?
What if electricity could be made safe to touch?
That was the question on Steve Eaves' mind in the early
2000s. An electricity industry veteran of more than 25 years,
Eaves was concerned when he heard stories that continued to
surface about injuries and fires resulting from electric shock
and heating. He believed there must be a better way to safely
Over decades, technology has rendered electricity safer,
through circuit breaker panels, ground-fault breakers and arcfault interrupters. But there remained vulnerabilities, primarily high-resistance faults, where loose-wire connections can
result in fires, and human cross-line and in-line touch faults
that lead to shocks and electrocution, that remained a safety
issue in the realm of electricity.
He wondered if all five types of faults could be addressed
without adding additional devices on an electricity distribution path.
Eaves sold his Lithium-Ion battery startup, Modular Energy Devices, which built lightweight, high-energy batteries
for telecom and mobile operators, to Enersys. He attracted
a $250,000 investment from Slater Technology Fund and its
CONNECTED REAL ESTATE | FALL 2017
managing partner, Thorne Sparkman, to build a packetized
electricity prototype and begin building market awareness.
Two years later, co-founder Dan Lowe, an adviser to Slater
Technology Fund, joined Eaves to help with the development
of VoltServer and Eaves' packetized electricity distribution
idea. Lowe's background included co-founding companies
that helped build the first internet-scale access routers to help
Tier 1 internet service providers and telephone operators
handle the explosion of internet users in the late 1990s and
Together, Eaves and Lowe built a touch-safe, application-aligned power solution destined to disrupt the power
The result was Digital Electricity™, a solution that protects
against high current, ground fault, arc fault, high resistance
and touch hazards.
Digital Electricity™ incorporates a transmitter that supports up to 24 electricity circuits, similar to a breaker panel.
The transmitter plugs into an AC outlet or 48 VDC battery
string and can deliver up to 1,000 watts on a single copper
conductor pair, and electricity to devices up to 2 kilometers
from the transmitter.
A receiver sits next to the device that requires power, such
as a video display, a string of lights or an LTE radio in a
building. Hundreds of electricity packets per second are sent
from a transmitter connector to each receiver over off-theshelf alarm or data cable. The transmitter de-energizes the
circuit to the receiver after every energy packet, and measures if electricity is making it to the receiver or getting lost
on its way to the receiver.