Employee Spotlight Series: Quinn Laudenslager, Senior Product Manager, Acumen EMS™
by Tracy Fosterling on Apr 13, 2021
Energy Toolbase team
As the demand for energy storage grows, Energy Toolbase’s team grows with it. Our Product team is instrumental in designing solutions that enable solar and energy storage developers to deploy projects more efficiently. Since our merger with Pason Power in September of 2019, our team has deployed Energy Storage Systems (ESS), controlled by our Acumen EMS™ software in over 10 states, working with almost a dozen different ESS hardware providers, and utilizing several different types of control strategy applications. As both our project deployments and complexity have grown, we’ve staffed up our team to accommodate this growth. Quinn Laudenslager, a 15-year industry veteran and Senior Product Manager for Acumen EMS™, shares his insights into the future of energy storage, the most pressing issues preventing more ESS to be deployed, and how our team is developing solutions to address those problems:
Q: Tell us about your background in the renewables/energy industry? What were you involved in prior to joining Energy Toolbase?
A: I am an electrician by training. Early on in my electrical construction career I fell in love with the concept of Photovoltaics (you can do what with sunlight?!) and departed the traditional construction of “pipe and wire” to jump headfirst into a renewable-only construction company. I spent over a decade honing my skills and feeding my passion for this industry, which is probably linked to my strong desire to constantly learn new things. This industry never disappoints! My career evolved as rapidly as the industry itself, expanding into design, sales, management, and eventually executive-level leadership. That was my springboard into taking a completely different path and hotly pursuing my passion for energy storage to join the team here at Energy Toolbase, whom I have been close to for years. The path of starting out as an electrician installing conduit in the field, to managing a product for a software company is not what that I had envisioned or expected, but I wouldn't change any of it.
Q: As the energy storage market continues to grow, what excites you about the industry in its current form and in the future?
A: It is limitless. Coupling advanced software controls and shaping energy markets to better suit a 100% renewable-powered grid is what I hope we will one day achieve. Energy storage of electricity comes in many shapes, so defining it as energy storage and not just limiting it to electrochemical storage is what excites me. From flywheels to pumped hydro to batteries, energy storage can take many shapes and sizes. Working in the advanced software segment has opened my eyes to a horizon where the sun never sets and is limitless. A common saying I hear from the Engineers around here is “Yeah we can solve that, it's software, just give us the right plan and the necessary time and we will provide a solution to fit your needs”. That boundless horizon is what keeps me fired up every day.
Q: What is your role within the Acumen EMS™ product team?
A: I think about problems pretty much all day (and night sometimes) then talk to people about how to solve those problems. The other portion, and less glamorous part of my role, is to then help gain alignment around a common goal across various teams. The fun part comes to then define a limited scope that can easily be understood and executed on and do some blocking and tackling to help keep focused which includes checking my own ambitions as often as I can, which to be honest isn’t a personal strong point for me. But hey, that is what team is for; relying on other people's strengths, trying to bring my own, and get out of the way of progress.
Q: What are some exciting things you’re working on at Energy Toolbase?
A: Making the deployment of energy storage as user-friendly, simple, and robust as possible. Nobody wants to worry about equipment showing up late, not working, not doing what it is supposed to, not understanding what it is even doing, how to model it to begin with, how to sell it, and being difficult to install. Coming from the construction industry that pain was my life for over a decade. Being here to solve those problems for the industry which will drive us to a cleaner future is the most exciting thing I get to work towards here at ETB. I’m fascinated by the field of data science and machine learning. It blows my mind to think about we utilize large datasets (load data, PV production data, utility rate tariff data) to train models that learn and improve over time.
Q: What’s something about our Acumen EMS™ product that people might not know?
A: It isn’t a black box with no transparency. What Acumen does exceedingly well is achieve field results that can be displayed and understood to the customer that are aligned with expectations. What most people don’t really get to see is the multi-disciplinary team behind Acumen EMS™. The Acumen team consists of a deep bench of talented software engineers and data scientists, constantly pushing Acumen further with every single release cycle.
To learn more about our Acumen EMS product offering, visitwww.energytoolbase.com/control
Here are some fun facts about Quinn to help you get to know him better: