Eco Energy is one of those strategically important, small North American companies that has quietly touched hundreds of thousands of people – almost anyone who has used a solar powered parking meter, for instance.
Eco Energy has been manufacturing controls for the solar industry since 1992. Eco Energy began 30 years ago in a little home workshop in the married quarters of an air base in Winnipeg, Canada. Founder/Inventor/Electrical Engineer/Pilot Mr. Jan King (Capt. Ret’d) has always had an interest in alternative power. After working with a local solar dealer during his spare time in exchange for credits towards solar equipment for his home, he came to realize that he could make a better, less expensive charger than what was being offered on the market. King was Eco Energy’s first customer and it wasn’t long before the local solar dealers also wanted his controls. Word of mouth was the primary source of advertising until the advent of the internet.
Jan King’s philosophy for Eco Energy from the start has been to create tough, high-performance, efficient, and customizable controls that are made in North America. There is a strong emphasis on simplicity – simplicity of design, installation and ease of use. The attention to detail at every step of the design and manufacturing process means their controls are highly reliable and use less power to run than any other controllers in the industry. Most Eco Energy controls have an auto shutdown feature, so that at night they use absolutely no power – truly innovative and very cost effective. King has said, “In the off-grid world, power is precious, so why waste it?”
Other Eco Energy innovations include the multi-charge PV control that simultaneously charges two or more independent battery banks using a single control, ideal in power systems with multiple battery banks, such as boats and recreational vehicles (RV’s). A solar clock was also recently developed and is an option on some controls, which automatically figures out the time of day, dusk and dawn times. The control can then be factory programmed to turn loads on and off at assigned times.
Eco Energy controls have more built-in protection and safety features than any other on the world market today, such as automatic over-temperature shutdown, protection from over-current, reverse polarity, and short circuit. Another bonus of Eco Energy products is that the company is powered by solar electric power, so their products are unique in that they are designed, manufactured and tested using solar power from a 6 KW system.
Off-Grid Professional veteran Mark Dettmer said recently in an interview, “The broader solar industry has been forced by extreme financial recovery realities into becoming addicted to ‘off the shelf’ equipment that often is made in Asia and does not have the best longevity and efficiency one would hope for. Thankfully, off-grid professionals have a resource like Eco Energy, where Jan King and his team manufacture a line of truly rugged, highly efficient, solar management equipment and still remain able and ready to engineer and manufacture custom PV charging and switching gear for special needs on tricky remote powered projects. Eco Energy has many times said ‘yes’ to our crucial needs when others simply were not interested because of the size of the project as well as the technical challenges. The bottom line is Jan King and Eco Energy are very appreciated by the people they have served. The future looks bright for Eco Energy and we wish them continued success for another 30 years.”
Eco Energy products are in:
- Parking meters
- Marine buoys/navigational aids
- Remote monitoring and research systems in extreme environments
- Solar lighting controls
- Solar powered advertising
- Kiosks, Vending machines
- Solar telemetry / control systems
- Oil field systems
- Natural gas thermo-electric generator systems (TEG
- Various vehicle types including trains, trucks, autos, powerboats, sailboats, and recreational vehicles (RV’s).
More information on Eco Energy can be found at their websites:
United States: www.eco-energy.us
August 8, 2022
Eco Energy celebrates 30 years of designing and manufacturing solar controls in North America for use around the World
By Frank Lanier