Green Generators being used on Set

Morte615

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https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/07/30/news/vancouver-companys-green-generators-are-pumping-clean-power-film-industry?fbclid=IwAR1u-0983G2lxz0DYYG0DXdOIEjegHwfNm_2RsNP9XlFeF9iKaPnL8lnR94

Interesting read about new systems being used to power sets and events. Green based where they are battery banks that can be charged by standard AC, Solar, Wind, ect.
I am a bit curious about their stated run times and if that's with or without a charge being applied. But it seems they are in use on productions (on the new Bond specifically)
At some point we have to move toward more renewable energy and with the battery technology moving forward like it is (thanks Tesla and other Electric Cars) I can see where it would be beneficial to move toward a more "Green" system.
 
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JD

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I have never really considered battery systems to be "green." All you are doing is moving the exhaust to somewhere else, namely where the electricity is being generated. Wind and solar (in the US) represents about 7.7% of the power on the grid. About 20% is nuclear, and 63% is fossil fuel. (The rest is hydro and other sources.) The best example of "Green" in the entertainment industry is the migration to LED. That, in my opinion, is a win-win situation. Batteries, not so much. In addition, the batteries themselves have a specific number of charge/discharge cycles to give before having to be replaced. Although batteries can be recycled/re-manufactured, much additional energy is used in that process that must be factored into the equation. Even wind and solar sources require a long operation time (years) before they have repaid the energy used in the manufacturing process. The best way to effect the greatest change is to look on the consumption side where simple changes in practices can radically reduce demand. What is not used does not have to be generated.

On the humorous side, a friend of mine recently bought a Tesla to show how "green" he was. I couldn't help but to congratulate him on the purchase of his new coal burning car ;)
 

FMEng

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I suspect the popularity has nothing to do with being green. It has everything to do with quiet and portability. Running a bunch of cable to get the noisy generator away from the set has to be a pain and expensive. The power is pretty limited in these things. They are perfect to run a camera and some audio recording gear, but not for much in the way of lights.
 

egilson1

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I have a friend who owns an audio company who has built a few systems of battery based generators that charge off of solar panels attached to the roof of his truck. Can’t remember the specifics but he can do something like 2 20amp circuits for 8 hours per unit. It’s really interesting.
 
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macsound

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Tesla and batteries being green is a big joke. Teslas have the largest carbon footprint of any passenger vehicle. Before Tesla, it was the Prius.
Building conventional lithium batteries is incredibly terrible for the earth. It's one thing to have them in cell phones, but cars have such high draw, there are far more rejects because of safety.

I remember an article about sea water batteries, where the chemical reaction happened between stainless steel, magnesium and salt water in suitcase sized compartments housed a shipping container. Solar panels on top charge the whole thing.
 

DrewE

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Mar 18, 2019
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Vermont
In generally related news, Home Depot recently started actually selling this inverter device ("Battery powered inverter generator," which seems to me a somewhat confused though not really confusing name). It's powered by the Ryobi 40V battery system, which is used mainly for lawn mowers and other yard tools. It's rated for 300W, has a pure sine wave output (a definite plus), and costs about a hundred bucks without the battery or charger. The largest battery currently available seems to be a 5 Ah one, about 200 Wh, and based on a review where the efficiency was measured at about 85% it would mean one of those batteries could provide the full 300W for about half an hour, or 150W for an hour, etc.

It seems to me to have a lot of nice features for theater work: it's pretty small and compact, it is powerful enough to be useful for quite a few things, and the interchangeable batteries for multiple acts or shows is quite nice. It doesn't appear (from the pictures) to have a fan to make noise. Use it with a LED fixture or two and a wireless DMX receiver and you'd have a nice self-contained practical that needs no wires connected and disconnected. The price is not too terribly out of line for a 300W pure sine wave inverter, either; one could cobble something together with a 12V car battery and an inverter for less total cash, to be sure, but dealing with lead-acid batteries and chargers is definitely more of a hassle (and the resulting assembly would be bigger and heavier, I suspect).
 

Michael K

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Oct 23, 2015
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San Jose, CA
In generally related news, Home Depot recently started actually selling this inverter device ("Battery powered inverter generator," which seems to me a somewhat confused though not really confusing name). It's powered by the Ryobi 40V battery system, which is used mainly for lawn mowers and other yard tools.
Poking around further, Ryobi also has a 150w inverter for their 18v tool batteries, and Ego has 150w and 2000w (3000w peak and can use 1-4 batteries) models that work with their 2-7.5 Ah 56v batteries. However, none of these advertise true sine output, which may or may not be an issue depending on load.

All quite neat gadgets to keep in one's back pocket for that prop the director insist on having do (insert appropriate electrical gizmo).