Articles

February 2014

AIMS Power showcases entire product line at the Work Truck Show

On March 5th, 2014 work truck fleet managers, outfitters, manufacturers and up fitters from all over the globe will converge on the Indianapolis Convection Center for The Work Truck Show. Hosted by the NTEA – the 2014 show will feature 500,000 Sq. feet of new products and technologies showcased by more than 500 exhibitors.

Among those exhibiting at the show will be AIMS Power, a power inverter company from Reno, NV. AIMS Power will be showcasing their line of power inverters, which features over 50 models. These DC to AC power inverters are used in many applications around the world.

The product offering from AIMS Power included four different inverter product groups; modified sine, pure sine, inverter charger and industrial grade inverters. Having such a wide range of products allows AIMS Power to provide an inverter for almost any application.

The work truck industry is no stranger to power inverters; they are commonly used in many projects by OEMs and vehicle up fitters alike. The 12 volt products from AIMS Power are very popular in the work truck industry, especially their line of pure sine inverter chargers, which feature a 300% surge for 20 seconds, a number that is not available from any other company. This extended surge rating makes the inverter more reliable and extends the service life of the unit 
AIMS Power will be located in booth #5568. Their entire line of products will be on display in their booth, and their staff of inverter experts will be on hand to answer questions.

January 2014

Featured in RV Pro Magazine - January 2014 issue

Click Here to download the Entire Article

Bruce de Jong is an engineer with an entrepreneurial spirit. The president and founder of AIMS Power Corp. has parlayed his training in electrical engineering into a company offering one of the widest selections of power inverters in the United States.  While not all of them are designed for the RV market, since its beginning in 2001 the Reno, Nev.-based company has included RV owners among its customers. Today, much of the company’s sales efforts in that market are directed at RV dealers and OEMs.  AIMS also offers other renewable solar, off-grid, mobile and emergency backup power systems, and the company’s long-term goal is to help its customers efficiently run their deep-cycle battery banks to reduce the pollution, noise and cost of maintenance associated with using fuel-powered generators.

Technological Bent


Technology – and not necessarily for power inverters – is at the heart of de Jong’s background. He explains that he began his career working first for Lockheed and later SynOptics in northern California. Eventually, however, the thought of owning his own business led him to launch a cellular importing business with his brother.  “That’s where I first gained some importing and buying experience, as well as some ideas on how to run a company,” de Jong says. “Later, we sold that business, and the company that bought us moved it here to Reno.”  Under its new owner, the company ultimately went out of business, but de Jong was ready to move on. He started importing power inverters and selling them from his garage under the AIMS Power name.  Among his first buyers were RV owners who were purchasing replacement inverters directly from AIMS.  “My first customer had a catalog and there were a lot of RV owners who got the catalog and bought for their personal RVs,” he explains. “Over time, we began to develop brand recognition from dealers. For the last 10 years or so we’ve been selling to dealers.”  More recently, the company has started selling to RV OEMs both in the United States and Canada. One of the issues that’s hindered AIMS’ move into the OEM market, de Jong says, is that the units the company sells to them are still in the process of being certified by UL and UL-Canada.  “The listings are very similar, so it’s not that difficult,” he says.  Currently, the company is importing its power inverters from China, South Korea and Taiwan, but thanks to de Jong’s technical expertise, they’re anything but off-the-shelf items, according to Sean Nichols, AIMS’ vice president of sales.  “We have our own line,” Nichols says. “We do co-manufacturing in that we design the products, tell the manufacturers how to customize them and then have them manufactured.”  “We’ve built an extensive line of inverters based on customer input and feedback,” de Jong says. “We’re at the point now where we can refer a customer to the exact product they need 99 percent of the time.”  Nichols says the company has more than 50 different inverter models – not all of them directed at the RV market, of course – to meet customers’ varying needs. And with more than 12,000 square feet of storage space at the company’s facility, availability isn’t typically an issue.  As for the company’s Western location, de Jong admits things might be a little easier  if AIMS was based some place in the Midwest, but he says Reno is centrally located for serving the firm’s West Coast dealers and the ports where its products enter the U.S.  “It’s really a good, low-cost area for distribution,” de Jong says. “Even though most of our business is located on the East Coast and in the Southeast, shipping isn’t a problem with the power inverters. We ship nationwide, and we also ship internationally.”

A Pure (Sine) Heart


The heart of the AIMS line for the RV market is the company’s AIMS Power Corp. pure sine inverter, which has been on the market now for a couple years.  Within that line the breakthrough model is the AIMS Power 6,000-watt pure sine low-frequency inverter charger, which will work in every country in the world, regardless of its electrical system. The low frequency inverters are available in 1,000-, 1,500-, 2,000-, 3,000-, 4,000-, 8,000-, 10,000-, and 12,000-watt models, as well as the 6,000-watt version.  AIMS executives say these low-frequency inverters feature a heavy-duty transformer allowing for a 300 percent surge capacity, and all of them are two – or even three – products in one: an inverter, an AC-to-DC battery charger and, in the 1,500- and 3,000-watt models, a solar charge controller.  “These are the types of features that give RV owners the freedom and versatility they need to live off the grid for an extended period of time,” says Nichols. “We work with RV owners almost every day and we always recommend our low-frequency models because that’s the reliability needed when you’re out in the boonies.”  “The real benefit of the low-frequency inverters is they’re very durable,” says de Jong. “They also have no high-frequency noise to interfere with the AM and CB radio bands, and they have a very high surge rating.”  The company also boasts a line of cost-effective modified sine inverters ranging from 75- to 12,000-watt AC outputs with 12-, 24-, 36- and 48-volt DC input options. While ideal for customers expecting to use an inverter less frequently, they remain AIMS’ leading product, and while also utilized by RV owners, they are particularly popular with another segment of the company’s market: emergency and utility vehicles.  Industrial-grade versions of the modified sine line also are available, and can provide an attractive option for RVers who prefer to travel rougher roads, while still providing a less costly option than the pure sine inverters.  In yet another effort to wean RV owners off their noisy generators, AIMS also offers solar panels, complemented by its solar charge controller capabilities on some of its inverters. The sale and installation of photovoltaic generating capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, and de Jong says he’s seeing it going on some RVs through the company’s dealer network.  “We hope that some of the OEMs will start including them on their products, although we aren’t seeing that yet,” he says. “We’d like to help get OEMS offering it straight off the factory floor, but we’ll continue to offer it.”  Still, he doesn’t expect the solar panels to overtake or detract from what AIMS is primarily about. “Our core business is power inverters,” de Jong stresses.

Focus on RVs


Even a great product can only take a company so far without service to back it up, and that’s where AIMS Power believes it can compete with other manufacturer/ suppliers. The company has its own in-house technical support and inverter repair team working out of AIMS’ Reno facility, and Nichols says they do an excellent job of warranty repairs and product exchanges. However, he adds the inverters can often be fixed at the dealer level. “If a dealer has a guy on his staff who knows about inverters, we can just send the dealer a board and it can be swapped out there,” says Nichols. “Of course, if they need a quick turnaround they can send the inverter in and we’ll send a new one.” He adds that in those cases, the inverters are then repaired and resold as refurbished units. AIMS Power does offer a lifetime of free tech support – available during normal business hours Mondays through Fridays – and has its own YouTube, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to help keep its customers informed about the company and its products. “We’ve put together countless instructional videos, informational blogs and interactive social networking posts that are all done as an effort to improve our customers’ experiences,” Nichols says. Giving end users a great experience is possibly at least as important as providing the technology to transform direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC) at AIMS. “We’re a small company, so someone can call here and talk to the president or the vice president,” says Nichols. “If people want to talk to us, we’ll talk to them. And, if they need something done specifically to a product, we can make it happen for them a lot faster than a bigger company can.” Not that AIMS isn’t hoping to become one of those bigger companies. While the company has a five-person sales staff and is always on the lookout for more dealer/distributors across all its market areas, the end of 2013 has brought a new marketing approach. “For years, we’ve focused mainly on the Internet,” says Nichols. “This year we’re making a big push to get out to trade shows, because we’re trying to grow the business by reaching different markets.” After attending shows for utility vehicles and for emergency vehicles, the 2013 RV Industry Association (RVIA) show in Louisville, Ky., was the first RV show at which the company had a presence.  “We’re really doing a formal introduction to the AIMS product line,” says Nichols. “We have a very diverse line of products that fits in many applications. We’re trying to get out there and show people how many products we have, because, if they have a project, they can call us and we can give them something in-house.” And, he says, when people see the company’s power inverters, they like what they see. As company president, de Jong may be a bit more modest. He says he wants to see how his inverters stack up and are accepted compared with his competition. “Obviously, there’s some resistance with some accounts to switch product suppliers; a company might have been with someone a dozen years or more,” de Jong acknowledges. “Our goal is to continue building the AIMS Power brand name, develop some new accounts and get some of our OEM accounts to specify our inverters in more of their models. “Over this last year and this coming year, we’re really focusing on the RV industry.”

July/August 2011

Contractors today need flexible and mobile power solutions. A strong mobile power source helps to cut cost on the job site. It cuts cost of fuel and maintenance on a generator. It makes it easy to do a simple job quickly, with little or no set-up. There are many benefits for using an inverter for mobile power, mainly convenience. Another benefit to using a power inverter for mobile power is they are silent and have no exhaust fumes, which you have to deal with when using a generator. If you are considering building a mobile power system, you should take sometime and look over this article to help you get a general understanding of a power inverter. Power inverters are applicable in many different industries. They are deployed in fleet and service vehicles. You can also find power inverters on the job site and in the office for back-up power. A DC to AC power inverter takes DC power and inverts it to AC power. Simply put, a power inverter takes battery power and makes regular house power. By using batteries coupled with an inverter, you eliminate the noise and maintenance of using a generator for back-up power. There are many different types of power inverters available today but they tend to fall primarily into one of two types, modified sine power inverters and pure sine power inverters. Within these groups you can find different subcategories; inverter/chargers, industrial grade inverters, car power inverters, 12-, 24- and 48-volt power inverters. photo: Aims power corp. All of these are available in both pure sine and modified sine wave versions. Let’s go back to high school for a second: what is a sine wave? An inverter’s sine wave is the type of power it is producing.

Modified Sine Inverters

Most power inverters sold today are modified sine wave inverters, which produce a sine wave that is not exactly the same as the power you receive from your city utility. The modified sine wave is “blocky” and not as clean as pure sine wave inverter power. Modified sine wave inverters are the most commonly used inverters and will work great with most devices.

Pure Sine Inverters

The next type of power inverter is the pure sine wave power inverter. A pure sine wave inverter produces a cleaner, “smoother” power signal that closely resembles the power you get from your city utility grid. Pure sine power inverters are used with devices that require cleaner power to operate. Some of the most common devices that require pure sine power are laser printers, medical equipment, some TV’s, and variable speed power tools and cordless tool battery chargers. One of the most popular power inverter products available today are inverter chargers. These are all-inone units; they have a power inverter, charger and a built-in transfer switch. These units are available in both pure sine and modified sine wave versions. They have the ability to act as a back-up power device. These units connect to city power and when AC is available the batteries are charging. When there is no AC power present, the unit switches to run off the batteries. They are great for backing up sump pumps and also very popular in RV’s and boats, as well as for emergency back-up power in the home. If you are using an inverter charger in a work vehicle, you can plug this unit into AC power to recharge the battery bank at the end of the work day. This way your batteries are fully charged for your next job.

June/July 2011

As an industrial distributor in today’s tough economy, new profit channels are crucial. Diversifying your product line can help the bottom line. Are you selling DC to AC power inverters? Is your DC power inverter product line up to date and all-inclusive? Are you receiving the best pricing available? Do you actually have products in your catalog that sell often? You should contact a complete power inverter resource to see the latest and greatest DC to AC power inverter products. By using a complete source for your inverter supply, you will increase customer satisfaction and increase profits by selling more products. If you are looking for products that can help your clients become more productive, while increasing your profits, you should consider adding a power inverter product group to your lines. Power inverters are applicable in many different industries. They are deployed in fleet vehicles and service vehicles. You can also find power inverters on the job site and in the office for back-up power. A DC to AC power inverter takes DC power and inverts it to AC power. Simply put, a power inverter takes battery power and makes regular house power. By using batteries coupled with an inverter, you eliminate the noise and maintenance of using a generator for back-up power. There are many different types of power inverters available today but they tend to fall primarily into two categories, modified sine power inverters and pure sine power inverters. Within these groups you can find different sub categories: inverter/chargers, industrial grade inverters, car power inverters, 12-, 24- and 48-volt power inverters. All are available in both pure sine and modified sine wave. You might ask, “What is a sine wave?” An inverter’s sine wave is the type of power it produces.

Modified Sine Inverters

Most power inverters sold today are modified sine wave inverters, which produce a sine wave not exactly the same as the power you receive from your city utility. The modified sine wave is “blocky” and not as clean as pure sine wave inverter power. Modified sine wave inverters are the most commonly used inverters and work great with most devices.

Pure Sine Inverters

The next type of power inverter is the pure sine wave power inverter. A pure sine wave inverter produces a cleaner, smoother power signal that closely resembles the power you get from your city utility grid. Pure sine power inverters are used with devices that require cleaner power to operate. Some of the most common devices that require pure sine power are laser printers, medical equipment, some TVs, and variable speed power tools and cordless tool battery chargers. One of the most popular power inverter products available today are inverter chargers. These are all-in-one units with a power inverter, charger and built-in transfer switch. These units are available in both pure sine and modified sine wave. They have the ability to act as a back-up power device. These units connect to city power and, when AC is available, the batteries are charging. When there is no AC power present, the unit switches to run off the batteries. They are great for backing up sump pumps and also very popular in RVs and boats, as well as for emergency back-up power in the home. If you are using an inverter charger in a work vehicle, you can plug this unit into AC power to recharge the battery bank at the end of the work day, fully charging your batteries for your next job.

Industrial Grade Inverters

A third type of inverter is an industrial grade power inverter. These inverters are designed for daily use and can handle heavy loads. For such applications, it is important to make sure you are using a true industrial grade power inverter. The easiest way to tell is to check the unit’s surge time. On a regular power inverter, the surge is only momentary; an industrial inverter will have a surge time of about nine seconds. Industrial grade power inverters also have a wider operating range, which means they can handle colder temperatures and higher heat. Power inverters are being used around the globe in many different applications. You can find them in charter buses, work trucks and company vans. They power many different types of devices, including freezers, air compressors, x-ray equipment and power tools. In many countries where AC power is unreliable or unavailable, power inverters run businesses and homes. Here in the United States, the demand for power inverters for emergency back-up power in homes is growing rapidly.

July/August 2011

 

Reprinted with permission from THE FAMILY HANDYMAN Magazine,
Home Service Publications, Inc., an affiliate of Reader?s Digest
Association, Inc., 2915 Commers Drive, Suite 700, Eagan, MN
55121. ®Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

 

Turn your truck into a generator No matter how good your battery powered saw or drill is, sometimes you need a plug-in tool to get the job done. Don’t have an AC receptacle nearby? Well, if you have a truck, you already have most of the makings of a rolling AC generator. Just install an AC inverter and you’ll have about 1,800 watts at your fingertips. The basic setup runs about $450, and the upscale version (with auxiliary battery and isolator relay) about $700. The installation takes just a few hours and requires only a drill and hand tools. View the attached PDF for more details.

 

 

August 18, 2011

AIMS Power a Reno based Green energy company, goes green with solar.

Reno, NV - AIMS Operating Corp, Inc., A global distributor of green energy products and one of Nevada's only green energy distributors, recently completed the installation of a 9kW net-metered photovoltaic system. 

AIMS, which specializes in dc to ac power inverters and related products, recently launched a new product line called AIMS Solar which includes 230 watt PV panels.  AIMS Power partnered with Lux Energies, a Nevada based Solar and Lighting company to install the new PV array.

"It was an absolute pleasure to work with the first class people at AIMS Power.  Equipment was in stock and integrated seamlessly to the existing facility.  Anyone can buy product, it takes exceptional service to make a project complete." Lux Energies President Eric Dahlgren.

The system which was installed by Lux Energies, includes 40 - 230 watt panels from AIMS solar and 2 - 5kw Kaco Blue Planet 02xi grid tie inverters that will generate approximately 1230 kWh of electricity per a month.  "We decided to partner with Lux Energies based on their and great reputation and proven track record of professionalism.  Lux Energy did such a great job installing the PV array on our distribution center, I decided to hire them to install a residential grid-tied solar system on my house."  Bruce de Jong President AIMS Power.

AIMS Power has been in business in Reno for since 2001 and is dedicated to making the world greener.  AIMS Power's VP of Sales Sean Nichols "As a Global Industry leader in dc to ac power inverters, we feel a personal obligation to our community to reduce our carbon emissions and lead by example when it comes to implementing green energy systems."

Over the next 30 years, AIMS Power's new PV array will reduce approximately 432 ton of CO2 from entering the air in Nevada.  The new AIMS solar panels will reduce their daily electrical usage by over 99%.  Over thirty years this is the equivalent of planting approximately 2160 trees.

If you would like more information please contact Sean Nichols @ 775-359-6703 or visit www.aimscorp.net

 

August 29, 2011

http://www.nnbw.com/ArticlePrint.aspx?storyID=17947

Dip in solar leads to installation boom


Rob Sabo,

In 1990, the average cost for one watt of solar-generated power was about $100. Today the cost is roughly $4 — and it’s expected to drop even further in 2012, says Chad Dickason, principal with Hamilton Solar of Reno.

Those reductions, coupled with rebates from utility providers and the federal government, are translating into big business for solar installation companies and parts suppliers, who are enjoying an increase in sales from commercial and residential installations throughout northern Nevada.

Eric Dahlgren, owner of Lux Energies in Reno, says solar installations account for about 30 percent of the company’s revenues. But when the electrical contracting company was founded in March of 2008 it had no presence in solar systems. And Reno’s Hamilton Solar has capitalized on the increasing prevalence of solar to grow from just three employees a few years ago to more than 50 today. The company employs about 35 to 40 installers and field workers.

Since the start of NV Energy’s SolarGenerations program in 2004, there have been 597 projects installed in homes, schools, businesses and public buildings throughout northern Nevada, the utility says. These projects generate up to 9 megawatts of electricity. Statewide, NV Energy has paid about $80 million in solar incentives.

Bruce de Jong, president of AIMS Power, which produces the inverters that convert solar-generated direct-current power to alternating current, says the drastic decrease in cost of solar panels has led to the rise in installations. Costs have plummeted due to increased competition among solar panel manufacturers.

AIMS Power recently completed a nine-kilowatt solar array on its headquarters at 9736 S. Virginia St. at a cost of roughly $70,000, de Jong says. NV Energy offered a rebate of $2.30 per watt, and AIMS also received a one-time 30 percent tax credit. The company expects to recoup its $28,000 out-of-pocket expense in as little as two years.

“Going forward, depending on how much we use and generate will determine how much we save on our electric bill,” says de Jong, who also installed a similar-sized facility at his home.

Rick Crocitto, owner of New Yalk Pizza, also plans on installing a solar system on 10 covered parking spaces at the venerable pizza parlor’s new location to be constructed on South Virginia Street near Winco in South Meadows.

Crocitto, who operated New Yalk Pizza on Kietzke Lane for 24 years, says he can save 20 percent or more on his utility bills, which currently run about $1,500 a month. He’s also contemplating installing a solar water heater at his new restaurant.

Other businesses in the region that have completed solar projects include Server Technologies of South Meadows and Pack-it, Stor-it, Park-it mini storage in Fernley.

“We are seeing prices where it makes sense financially for businesses,” Hamilton’s Dickason says. “It is getting to the point where businesses are getting good returns.”

Despite the drop in price, solar panels still make up the largest expense of a solar facility. Other expenses — referred to as “balance of systems” in the solar industry — include racking to hold the panels, inverters to convert DC power to AC, and labor. Incidental expenses include building permits and man lifts to access roofs where panels typically are installed.

Currently about 96 percent of solar panels are manufactured overseas. China is the global leader, with about 65 percent of the market share, says Dickason. Solar power is used in two ways: The facility is either tied into the grid and excess power is sold to a utility, such as at AIMS Power and the Fernley mini storage site; or it is intended for “distributed generation,” which means it’s used only at the installation site.

The latter is expected to make up considerable amount of future installations in the industry.

“I think we will start to see more and more businesses that are ready to evaluate and move forward on solar projects; the numbers are there,” Dickason says. “Over the next 12 to 18 months we will see a significant market growth that is targeting commercial businesses.”

Lux Energies’ Dahlgren worries that any changes to federal rebates could delay the volume of future installations. However, the industry could benefit from reduced costs for the balance of systems, he says.

“It is a lot of money up front,” Dahlgren says. “It is a big investment — but you know you can’t count on the sun rising every day.”

ALL CONTENTS © 2011 Northern Nevada Business Weekly. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

September 14, 2011

What is the difference between GFCI and short circuit protection?

Inverters with GFCI outlets

Let’s start with the basics.  What does GFCI stand for?  ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).  What is the purpose of a GFCI outlet?  A GFCI monitors for a short between hot and neutral or between neutral and ground and lastly between hot and ground.  If it senses a short between any of these points, it will trip the outlet and interrupt the current.  These outlets are to prevent people from electrical shock.  And to protect the electrical devices that are plugged in to the outlet.  GFCI's also help to prevent electrical fires.

At AIMS Power we have one UL listed inverter with GFCI outlets.  This inverter is a 3000 watt modified sine inverter can be reset manually.  Here is a link to part # PWRINV300012W.  On a construction site or in any other public area where a non permanent power source is being used, you will most likely need a GFCI outlet to meet code requirements.  Today, we see many applications which require a GFCI inverter.

Can I hook this inverter directly to a panel?

No, in most cases, you cannot hook an inverter with a GFCI to a service panel.  In the United States, in most service panels you will find that the neutral is bonded to the ground.  So when you connect this to the outlet, the GFCI detects a short and interrupts the circuit.

Inverters with electric GFCI's

As we stated above GFCI's are designed to monitor an outlet and detect shorts.  Some power inverters have a built in electric GFCI.  These inverters do not have the manually resettable GFCI outlets, instead they have ground fault interrupters built in that automatically shut down when they detect short circuits.  Inverters with an electric GFCI will also shut down when connected to a service panel.

AIMS Power Inverters with an electric GFCI:


Power Inverters without GFCI

We have multiple inverters without a GFCI built in.  These powerful inverters offer you the flexibility to connect to an AC panel.  These inverters do not have short circuit protection; which means if you connect hot to neutral or hot to ground, you will permanently damage the inverter.  They do however have built in protection against internal fires. 

AIMS power inverters without an internal electric GFCI:


Power inverters with short circuit protection

We also have multiple inverters with built in short circuit protection.  The entire AIMS pure sine inverter line and the AIMS industrial inverter line have true short circuit protection.  This short circuit protection looks for a neutral to hot short. The short circuit protection differs from a GFCI, based on the fact that it will not shut down if you have ground fault to neutral. In these inverters the neutral is Isolated from ground, which allows it to be connected to a panel where neutral is bonded to ground. 

The short circuit protection feature makes these inverters more flexible when it come to connecting to an AC panel.  These inverters can connect to a panel with the neutral bonded to ground.  Unlike a GFCI inverter, these inverters will not shut down when connected to an AC panel with neutral bonded to ground. 

AIMS Power pure sine inverters with built in short circuit protection:

AIMS Power industrial grade power inverters with built in short circuit protection:


We receive many inquires about which inverter will fit a specific application.  This guide is a good way to narrow down your search for the right power inverter.  If you need more information about this article or any of our power inverters please email sales@aimscorp.net or call 775-359-6703.