Last Updated on August 10, 2021
When the National Guard is deployed to assist state and federal agencies, it usually brings its own “village” to give the troops a place to eat, sleep, shower and relax when they’re not working. Those villages are composed of very sophisticated portable shelters that include heating and cooling, running water and electric power for lighting, battery charging, internet connections and myriad other purposes.
Currently deployed Guard units in California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, New York and South Carolina depend on portable power distribution panels supplied by Trystar of Faribault, MN.
“We have supplied about 20 packages to our customer so far during the crisis,” explained Anthony Sandoval, Trystar Sales Manager – West Coast, “and we are expecting orders for up to 100 more in the next few days. Each panel will handle 10 shelters which gives you some idea of the scope of the Guard’s projected COVID-19 response.”
Meeting the sudden demand presented a challenge for Trystar because the Mil-Spec plugs and receptacles required on the panels and extension cables are not standard inventory items and suppliers quoted a 6-week delivery lead time.
“That was clearly unacceptable in a situation like this,” Sandoval said, “so we had to improvise, adapt and overcome the obstacle. As it turned out, our customer had the necessary parts in stock so they ship them to us, we install them and ship the finished panels and cables back to them which cuts delivery time by five full weeks. It’s not a standard procedure, but it works and the troops get their shelters when they need them.”
Trystar has been the sole supplier of electrical distribution panels to this customer for more than five years and the kind of cooperation that overcame the Mil-Spec plug and receptacle challenge has been typical of the relationship.
“A few years ago they got an order that required plugs and receptacles to meet EU requirements,” Sandoval added. “The specs looked liked ‘Greek’ to their engineers so they called us for help. Our master electrician helped them make sense of the spec and we got a quote to them the same day. That’s typical of our relationship and they rely on Trystar to figure out what their customers really want.”
Trystar distribution panels, Automatic Transfer Switches, Docking Stations, cables and other equipment are widely used in the rental industry to support construction sites, entertainment venues, charity events and other events. The company is currently developing specifications for a standardized package of components to support the specific needs of temporary and re-purposed facilities required to combat the COVID 19 pandemic crisis.