Guest Speaker:  Andre Schlotz - Engineered Applications and Power SME - Solarcraft, Inc.

 President, Olson Power Products CC, 2002-2010, [A stand-alone back-up power manufacturer in South Africa]

Engineered Applications Specialist, Solarcraft, Inc., 2010 to present, [Power and system integrator and manufacturer]

Andre Scholtz came to the United States in 2010, seeking opportunities in industrial solar and off-grid power applications. Coming from South Africa, where frequent utility power interruptions sparked a power backup industry, Andre developed a great deal of expertise while building his own power business.

Andre joined Solarcraft in 2010, initially in Sales and Business Development, and now as Subject Matter Expert designing power solutions. He works closely with clients, finding the most economic and reliable solutions for their applications.

Andre’s knowledge of what works and what to avoid comes from years of hands on experience, solving power problems. Andre’s vision and humor, combined with his genuine eagerness to problem-solve makes him popular with clients and co-workers, and one of the smart(est) guys in the room.

Topic:  Preventing Costly Power Failures 

 As a long-time field power integrator, Solarcraft has learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to reliable Solar and UPS field power. The intent of our presentation is to inform and share best practices, touching on topics such as load calculation, power supply selection, battery sizing and cycling, and solar sizing. This moderately technical presentation is meant for anyone who designs, engineers, or manages measurement, communications, SCADA, valve actuation, or critical electronics in remote or field locations.

 Preventing Field Power Failures

Why do you need a Solar or UPS system in the first place? What happens if it fails?

Design considerations for fail-proof power assemblies

Load calculation

Battery Sizing

Battery autonomy, de-rate factors

Battery charging and chargers

LVD and why not to mess with it

Battery health

Inverters and why to avoid them

Specifying AC or DC components

Managing loads with high starting currents, such as for actuating a valve

Open for Q&A


Section Sponsors Table Top Program

The ISA Lafayette Section is excited to introduce a new program for our section sponsors. We will be inviting 6 - 7 section sponsors to display their products before, during and after the meeting. The monthly newsletter will include your company name as a participant. This “mini-table top” will allow you, as a participant, to show off new products, have information available for prospective clients, or just take the opportunity to socialize with luncheon attendees. All at no additional cost!

For various reasons, attendance and participation at our yearly Go-Tech Expo and Luncheon at the Cajundome has been suffering. That function takes a lot of planning and expense for the section to produce and for the participating exhibitors. We feel that our loyal exhibitors are not getting the most for their time and money, and for that reason, we are not planning the Expo for 2017-2018 year.

As a Section Sponsor, you are helping out your ISA Lafayette Section with operating capital to fund scholarships and other activities during the year. Your Section Sponsorship of $150.00 / year also includes:

  • Display Company Logo on the sign board at each monthly meeting
  • Display Company Logo at each of our social events throughout the year
  • Support of four UL Lafayette Engineering Special Project Teams
  • Support of three Local High School's FIRST Robotics Teams
  • Advertising on our website with company name, logo, and contact information
  • $100 Team Discount at ISA Annual Clayshoot

And now:

  • One table top exhibit at a monthly luncheon
  • Exhibiting sponsor name listed in our Website and Newsletter for that month

Currently, we have 75 sponsors. Congratulations on your participation. Please let us know how you feel about this new program by going to the “Contact Us” tab at the website and expressing your view. After all, this is YOUR section!!!

May - Mini Table Top Exhibitors








President's Note

As we approach the start of another year of activities, I welcome all returning members and sponsors, but I especially welcome those members and sponsors who are new to the ISA Lafayette Section or may have been absent for a while. Like any organization, ISA-Lafayette can only exist with the active support of the members and sponsors.

I am pleased to share that this year ISA-Lafayette has 75 sponsors (16 are new) – not bad for this economy. That can only be attributed to the efforts of all involved in spreading the word about the mission and direction of ISA Lafayette and to the recognition by the sponsors of the importance of “giving back” at a corporate level. “Giving back” involves not only direct financial support but also investing your employees’ time to participate in section activities. Both forms of “giving back” are critical to the success of ISA-Lafayette and are greatly appreciated. I encourage those who may be wondering if sponsorship is a worthwhile investment to review the details of the new Section Sponsor Program described above and to contact any of the current sponsors for their opinion. I also encourage all current sponsors to let the section know your opinion of this program by using the “Contact Us” tab on the web site. After all, this is your section and your program!!

The Board is continuing to pursue our initiative of reaching out to potential Automation Professionals at an earlier stage in their life. As you are aware, ISA-Lafayette currently donates monies to four UL Lafayette Engineering Department Special Project Teams. The Board also provides financial support for the three local high school FIRST robotics competition teams (Comeaux High, Acadiana High, David Thibodeaux Stem Magnet Academy). The FIRST program – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a national program dedicated to attracting talented students to the science and technology career fields. An annual “challenge” for the high school robotics teams is announced in January and robots to conquer that challenge are designed, built, programmed, and operated by the student participants (in 8 weeks, by the way) with the assistance of adult mentors. More details can be found at the FIRST web site, In addition to providing financial support for each team, ISA-Lafayette encourages every member to consider becoming a mentor as an individual way of “giving back” and helping develop the talented students in the area.

On another note our Fall Social Shrimp Boil which is an annual event to recognize this support was held on October 19, 2017 at Acadiana Events Center 211 J.B. Road Scott, LA. Thanks to all who attended our event last year we appreciate your support and hope to see you again this year.

We are looking forward to another successful year and we hope that YOU will become involved – or more involved – with Section activities and operations. We welcome any feedback or comments on our efforts – in person, via e-mail to any of the officers, or via the “Contact Us” link on the web site. This is YOUR organization and it is only with YOUR input that the Section Officers and the Executive Board can satisfy YOUR expectations.

Ray Mercke 
ISA Lafayette President - 2017-2018