The Silicon Review
If you are a project engineer, consultant or developer then it is your job to recommend an integrated power solution that can optimize performance, maximize safety and reduce the total cost of ownership while meeting the project or clients unique specifications. If you are a facility engineer, you will make purchase decisions that will impact the company for years to come. Irrespective of your role, you must understand that there is no definite one size fits all power solutions. You will need an expert in power solutions to help you design a system with performance options that can match your stringent requirements and regional standards.
Vertical Partners West LLC (VPW) is your solution for quality built, factory-tested, turnkey and fully customized power solutions. VPW is made up of passionate men and women uniquely qualified to provide battery and charger solutions and support for the Industrial / Commercial / OEM markets. VPW helps companies develop their products without the steep learning curve involved with battery chemistries, cell formats, international sourcing, importation, and compliance. The company’s main focus is on Lithium batteries, battery management systems and charging solutions. We have extensive experience with most lithium derivatives allowing us to cater a system to the customer’s specific use case and operational envelope. Established in 2001, Vertical Partners West, LLC, has a full-time staff headquartered in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and maintains full time staff in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
In conversation with Keith Wallace, CEO of Vertical Partners West LLC
Q. What are the challenges addressed by your power solutions?
I think that when people are looking to put a battery into some type of system—whether it be energy storage, aerial application, an unmanned material handling robot, or any type of an autonomous system—most face the same general issue, which stems from an overall lack of knowledge regarding the complexity of battery power systems. Many people believe that a battery is a battery. It is viewed like going and buying a tank of gas from the gas station…and that could not be farther from the truth. There is a lot to know about these systems and many options regarding chemistry, form factor, voltage, and capacity, just to get started. The lack of education is a really important issue, We like to be able to come in and quickly get the customer to a point of where we can help them understand what questions need to be answered in order to develop a system comprised of a battery and charging system that’s going to work for their specific application needs. There are a lot of pain points that a customer or company faces outside of simple battery knowledge. For example, like who’s going to make it, is it legal, how do I ship it, import it, or how do I know if the factory is a credible supplier? Our history has allowed us to learn these things over time, unfortunately by making mistakes ourselves. We buy millions of batteries. So, for us, we’re always going to have a higher degree of purchasing power than one single project owner’s going to have. In most cases we are going to be more cost effective. We also have full time employees in Asia which allow us instant access to our suppliers for sourcing, logistics or technical support that many of our competitors cannot match.
Q. What are the anticipated trends in the renewable energy segment?
“The renewable energy business -- there’s an immense amount of growth happening in these segments. We see automation in areas like material handling, agriculture, security and more. The trend is robotics becoming more common in many industries that did not have access to that type of technology even a decade ago. It seems that everything is battery powered the days. We are now getting, more and more projects for electrifying things that were maybe a combustion engine or natural gas previously. This could be for consumer electronics, medical devices, energy storage and backup systems or robotics, the list is endless. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that all the growth is in aerial vehicles, since the media seems to pay more attention to this segment. We are seeing much more growth in surface-based segments of unmanned systems, due in part that the aerial applications have a lot more restrictions due to operating within public airspace, it’s a lot more complicated. We have been building out our team and our expertise to match the growth segments within the commercial and industrial markets. We feel strongly that our future lies in taking our 20 years of experience and targeting larger scale, more complex and mission critical applications.”
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
We are constantly working to develop new systems with our OEM customers, but this year one of our main initiatives is launching our new brand electroVolt. ElectroVolt will be the flagship customer facing line of power solutions for both commercial and consumer users. The first offering from electroVolt will be our PRISLogic Series coming fall 2020. This new series of scalable lithium-ion based battery modules built on automotive grade prismatic cell technology and housed in a ruggedized aluminum housing is a game-changer for our company. Designed, assembled, and tested in the USA, the PRISLogic offers high-quality lithium power with an intelligent, programmable battery management system (BMS) including CAN communication protocol for real time access to key battery performance information Think of these modules as the perfect “intelligent building blocks” for your next project. These robust lithium battery modules are perfect for use in electric energy storage and mobility systems. Multiple modules can be configured together in series or parallel to increase voltage or capacity (12v, 24v, 48v, etc.). These systems are chemistry agnostic, allowing the ultimate in flexibility allowing VPW to partner with clients on nearly any type of commercial, industrial, or OEM project.
Also, coming this Fall is our new LiONCore Series of lithium-ion batteries from electroVolt. As an off-the-shelf deep cycle battery available in several popular power ranges, this robust line can meet all your power needs from micro solar energy storage, back up power, recreational uses like marine and RVs and more. This is the perfect transition from old technology such as SLA or AGM batteries to the more powerful, longer lasting Lithium options. LiONCore batteries use Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) technology and are built to last. While most SLA batteries lifespans average just 300 cycles, LiFePO4 batteries boast a lifespan of more than 2,000+ charge cycles. This means your LiONCore Li-Ion battery can last up to 5-10 times longer than a typical SLA battery at nearly half the weight and twice the usable power. We started with the most popular voltage at 12.8v nominal, allowing for most typical use scenarios and all feature a robust built-in battery management systems (BMS). The BMS keeps the battery running at peak performance by preventing overcharging, over-discharging, over-temperature issues while also handling cell balancing, etc. providing peace of mind, and maximizing the battery’s performance and overall cell life. These exciting new products can be found on our website www.vpwllc.com or www.electrovoltusa.com.
Meet the leader behind the success of Vertical Partners West LLC
Keith Wallace joined Vertical Partners West LLC team in 2011 and brings an extensive background in brand development, brand management, marketing strategy and sales. Keith has spent the last 20 years building a successful career across a wide range of industries and product segments. Always striving for improvement, never settling for “good enough” keeps our chief executive officer pushing the company forward.