June '21

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68 • RV PRO • June 2021 rv-pro.com inverter for what people are trying to do?' Let's focus on what people are looking for and what things are not in current products that we can offer to make that camping experience better and easier." That, adds Buckmeier, is how the company's "auto-detect" project started. While WFCO's current chargers will charge both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, the two battery types require different charging profiles for a complete charge; today, end-users need to flip a switch on the charger when changing battery types to ensure the correct charging profile is used. It's not a change that happens often – and, as a consequence, it's something that's often overlooked. Given the cost of a 12-volt lithium-ion battery (usually between $800 and $1,000), it can be an expensive mistake. WFCO's auto-detect feature, Buckmeier says, handles that on its own. There's no switch; instead, it detects what battery type is being charged and what it's hooked up to and changes the charge profile based on the battery. "There are two roads a supplier can travel," he adds. "A product can be very complex – an inverter, for example, can have a monitor where the user could call up displays of every- thing, including voltage, amperage, power – or it can be simple. Some people just want things to work. They just want to plug in and go camping. And that's what we're doing – making what we have better, as well as taking us to the next genera- tion of product." Being Responsive to OEMs' Power Wants, Needs Another area the company's OEM partners wanted to explore, Buckmeier says, was running shore power right through the inverter to power the entire RV. "Now, you have to be cognizant of what your power require- ments are, and you have to try and manage that power – most RVs cannot run everything off a 1,000-watt inverter or even a 2,000-watt unit – but our new product has an auto-reset breaker within it that allows someone that option to run shore power directly into it. With prior products without that internal breaker mechanism, this wasn't possible because there was no protection on that line, other than at the pole." WFCO also has discussed with OEMs making additions to its energy management systems, which are designed to prioritize power to different circuits depending upon user demands (the company's electrical-based products also include converters, power centers, distribution panels and transfer switches). The system employs a load shedding/ sharing circuitry which, for example, will automatically shut down the air conditioner when the microwave is in operation, then power it back up afterward. "Today, we control two items, but we'll ask, 'Do you want to control more?' You can have an energy-management system to manage just about anything you want, but you're going to pay for it," says Buckmeier. "You won't put such a system in a low-cost RV – yet some of those low-cost units still have needs, especially when boondocking. We look at alternatives that aren't Shaun Baye, power pros technical support, performs a quality control audit on one of the company's power products. Arterra Distribution is the distribution arm of WFCO products. WFCO is currently adding another 34,000 square feet of warehouse space, which will give it just shy of 95,000 square feet of warehouse space.

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