While you’re familiar with our groundbreaking energy storage products, you may not be so familiar with the people behind those products. Today, we’re going to highlight one of those people.
Patrick Carroll is the Energy Storage Service Leader here at Dynapower. He joined the company back in 2015.
“I’ve always been mechanically inclined even when I was a kid,” Patrick says. “Once, I took my tricycle apart and my dad got up and said ‘I’m not putting that back together’ so I did it myself.”
After joining the military later in life, Patrick worked on submarines in the advanced electronics field for roughly 8 years.
“I ended up getting into power generation for a company called Valley Power Systems for a year and a half,” Patrick adds.
Following that gig, Patrick moved onto Bay City Electric Works. While working on generators and their associated switch gear, Patrick says he learned most of what knows about power generation from his time with that company.
In fact, Patrick eventually started servicing and testing DC power supplies at Verizon cell tower sites. Literally on the fly, Patrick and his colleague figured out how to conduct tests on batteries while safely working around them. Patrick’s region—central California—had a staggering 900 cellular sites and he was responsible for building up a team to service them all.
Patrick’s next big assignment brought him overseas to lead a team in the commissioning of a 16MW system. This involved a commission from the US Embassy in a place that “no one wanted to go.”
“We had to verify the installation to make sure everything was wired correctly across multiple generators and a huge switchboard.”
Throughout this time, Patrick says his love for power electronics really started taking off and it wasn’t long after that he was recruited by Dynapower.
“Dynapower had signed a contract with Tesla about nine months before I started,” Patrick says. “We designed, manufactured and delivered close to 300 inverters to Tesla.”
While the energy storage group at Dynapower has grown significantly since Patrick joined the company in 2015, he does like to point out that he is technically the first field service engineer that the company has employed on the energy storage side of the business.
Over the last few years, Dynapower’s energy storage field service team has expanded to the point where Patrick now serves as team lead. “For the most part, everybody’s pretty self-sufficient,” he says. “The management role I serve is when the customers have specific equipment or billing issues. We try to make everybody happy.”
I was around my grandfather all the time when I was a child. He was a carpenter by trade and inventor of many unofficial things. He even converted a ~40’ Greyhound bus into an RV all by himself. He included me in all his repairs, builds, and tinkering. I believe this is what drove my curiosity in everything mechanical and electronics.
During a trip to Samoa to conduct cap replacements and preventative maintenance for a customer, Patrick encountered some particularly severe weather. In fact, his boat nearly died on the way to the remote island as waves two-stories high pummeled the boat.
Then, after completing his work, a rough cyclone nearly took the whole island away. Luckily, Patrick was able to catch a plane back and the work site weathered the storm.
When asked what motivates him most about working at Dynapower, Patrick is quick to reply.
“I come from the dirty south and there was a point in my life I had no cares, but when I ended up in California and met my girlfriend—who turned out to be my wife—I became very conscientious about the environment,” Patrick says.
“What we do here at Dynapower is helping reduce fossil fuel emissions and while we’re not saving the planet by ourselves we do provide a service that could move us away from fossil fuel consumption…I like the feeling of doing the right thing.”
In terms of the toughest job he’s encountered, Patrick recently finished a re-commissioning in Jessup, Georgia.
“Their power company wanted to test an entire BTM system and this testing it happened to be quite invasive,” Patrick says. Between blown fuses and other issues, Patrick said he was troubleshooting and figuring things out on the fly for 8 solid hours of “emergency room type of triage.”
By the end of the day, though, Patrick had completed all of the tests and earned the company a certificate to operate in that region.
Finally, when asked what sets Dynapower apart, Patrick pauses and takes a moment to gather his thoughts.
“I think it’s the whole company…it’s the fact that we do test everything in-house before it ships,” Patrick exclaims. “We refurbished a unit that looked like it came from a landfill and it looks and functions like brand new now.”
Patrick ends with one final thought: “My worst day here is always better than my best day anywhere else.”