We talked to founder Sarah Whiteford to learn more about One Step Power in Februrary 2020…
Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?
OneStep Power Solutions provides safe, reliable, and repeatable power system testing for vessels. A common problem for companies that operate Dynamically Positioned offshore vessels occurs when attempting to operate their electrical plant in a closed bus configuration to take advantage of the fuel savings and reduced emissions. These electrical plants are responsible for powering the vessel’s thrusters and navigation systems to maintain their position. Because the systems are complex and run close to their operational limits, faults are possible. If the navigation system cannot “ride through” a short term fault, there is a possibility that the vessel could end up drifting off position with potentially disastrous results. This can cost millions in trying to get back on course and damage the vessel. Our goal is to provide testing that either proves their power systems can come back online quickly and effectively or provide them with potential solutions on what they can do to change their system so that it can come back online quickly and effectively.
How did your company get started?
Mark Craig, the president and inventor at OneStep Power Solutions, had repeatedly come up against the struggles of ensuring that a vessel’s power system was tested properly and could withstand low voltage. There weren’t too many options for testing and proving that the system could survive this type of situation other than short circuit testing, which is high cost and high risk. He started trying to figure out another solution that would help people and thus the Generator Voltage Response Tester (GVRT) was born.
Why is your team well positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?
At the moment we are one of the very few companies who can do low voltage testing and the only company who can do it without short circuiting the system. This is important because short circuiting the system can be costly and doesn’t allow the vessel crew to continue working while testing. Our GVRT testing can not only provide them a much needed service but allows them to continue working while the testing is done.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
That there will be another big lesson to learn by next week.
What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?
We think that startup companies need to look for resources in inventive places, while being as self-directed as possible.