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Hey guys, it's Paul from EPC !


Paul Z.
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Hi everybody, my name is Paul I'm the director of operations here at EPC Corporation.  I've always had an obsession with electric cars and solar (dating back to the 1980's) so I can't tell you how much I enjoy my job.  I love working with the off-grid crowd, and I have a great team that helps me every step of the way.

For those of you who haven't worked with EPC before, our company manufactures inverters, battery chargers, and other high-power equipment (both grid-tie and off-grid).  We started in 2007 building mostly electric vehicle conversion components, and slowly migrated over to solar, energy storage, and battery backup.  Our offices are located about 20 miles south of Boston

In addition to manufacturing, we also stock over 3.1 MWh worth of battery inventory, divided among lithium-ion, NiMH, and lead-acid batteries.  We also keep between 0.5 to 1.0 MW worth of solar panels in stock., including the fancy Italian ones that I can't pronounce.

I know that there's a lot of talented people on this forum, and I can't wait to get your advice on some of these new projects.   I have a bad habit of randomly starting new energy/inverter projects, so unfortunately, you'll be hearing from me a lot.

- Paul

 

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Welcome, Paul!  I recall you were quite interested in the development of 3-phase inverter ability.  I am actually (today!) working on refining the AC synchronization code for better stability.  We did have a successful first test of 3-phase with a 3-phase 240v AC motor back in December with 3 GS inverters...but could not fully test it due to the limitations of the 25A power supply (we were actually running the motor on 120v AC to reduce the startup surge!)--not to mention that Sean had literally just moved into his new house.  Load startup was a bit rough due to the power supply's limited power ability, and a 3-phase motor's startup surge...but the concept passed tests quite well, I thought. 

We are working on "embedded systems" control boards that will come with MODBUS and RS-485 on-board (no WiFi screen required), which can easily be connected to a "head unit" for health on all control boards in a particular rack.  Lots of new things slowly coming along...there's a lot of work to do!

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Hi Sid,

We have some stuff over here that will take care of both the power supply end of it, as well as the load.  I'll see if we can get them over to you.... it may even save a pillow or two.

We are working on a very inexpensive 48v power source that provides 1 kW from a 120-volt outlet, and 4 kW from a 240-volt.  It's not completely isolated, but I think it will have many uses, both for equipment testing, and even fast charging batteries.  We already have several prototypes built.... we are just waiting on the software to get them running.  

As for the load, we are in the process of testing a rack-mount device that we built.  It basically simulates a massive 3-phase load.  It takes 3 phase, 240 volt input and pushes it out to the grid, via any standard 4-prong dryer outlet that may be in your house. 

We built it using main boards from three separate Fronius 3.3 kW string inverters -- they are now all running in parallel.  This perfectly simulates the three legs of a standard 3-phase, 240v load., and can provide up to 10 kW of draw.  The only issue we are having is that the inverters we used do not have export control, so we cannot limit the power output to the grid.  But we're working on it.

So much fun, so little time.  My direct office number is (508) 923-9503, if you want to give me a call.  The best time to call is usually around lunch time (EST), when things quite down a little (because everyone is eating).

- Paul

 

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I did make Sean a high amperage reconfigurable power supply (48v/36v @ 220A, 24v @ 440A, 12v @ 880A) that's made out of server rack power supplies.  We did not have that working at the time of the test.  Obviously, once he gets his solar system up and running, tests of this sort will be absolutely no issue.

And yes, current limiting, etc. is completely possible on a GS inverter 😉

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