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Author Topic: Power upgrade for small town festival  (Read 2399 times)

Jeremy Oswin

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Power upgrade for small town festival
« on: November 02, 2011, 03:18:06 AM »

I own a small sound company which provides SR for a small town street festival.  The power is insufficient to supply the growing demand of vendors and entertainment, so we've budgeted for an upgrade.  I'll be arranging this (with the local power company and an electrician), though it's a little above my experience level.  Any pointers would be hugely appreciated!

A 200A service has been shared by vendors, stage, beer garden, and city swimming pool - but I'd like to add an additional 400A service to supply the stage, beer garden, and future unknowns.  (Current vendors will stay on the current 200A service.)  I'd like to have 8 California Style 50A twist lock receptacles installed (1 for beer garden, 3 for the stage, and 4 for future use).  I want it to accommodate larger staging needs as well, I'm considering camlock receptacles or other industry standard. 

1) Would using camlocks absolutely require a 208 V 3 phase service?

2) If a 3 phase service is not attainable, what would be the most accommodating high current distribution method for 240V?

3) Does a 400A service seem sufficient?

4) Should we use any power filtering methods to isolate power for beer garden/vendors, sound, and light sources?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Power upgrade for small town festival
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 09:04:48 AM »

You didn't specify if this was indoors, on the side of a building, on a pole, etc.  What size shows are you planning for?  What electrical distribution is available?  What's the budget?  Are you talking 5,000 people or 500,000 people?

A large 400A 3-phase 208v service (or more than one of them) is likely the way to go.  You can have some smaller distribution in the form of Californias and/or 14-50Rs (probably a good idea), but you will definitely want a higher current connection point - either a cams or lugs based company switch.

There's no rule that says cams have to be a 3-phase system, but if you're ever going to host a serious show, the show will likely require 3-phase power for rigging, lighting dimmer racks, etc.  If you don't have it, the event will have to rent a generator, somewhat defeating the purpose of your service upgrade.

If you want isolation or filtering, the way to do this is to have a dedicated transformer feeding only your technical power.  Putting the beer garden or swimming pool on the same service defeats the isolation angle, but if the service is of good quality with a good ground, isolation might not be a huge issue. 

The need to isolate stage lighting from audio is greatly reduced from what it was a decade or two ago due to better dimmers and better audio gear, but if you're hosting really big stuff, a rider might indicate separately derived power for audio and/or lights and/or video anyway, just to be safe.

It's hard to say if 400A is enough.  It's certainly enough for all but the largest shows if it's dedicated for the stage.  It might not be enough if you put 380A of fridges, freezers, fryers, on it.

If money is no object and you've got a high voltage distribution line to draw from, then add a 400A transformer to power the food, and add a separate 400A transformer dedicated to the stage.
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Jeremy Oswin

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Re: Power upgrade for small town festival
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 03:19:14 AM »

Thank you TJ for excellent feedback.  Just met with electrician and city planner.  Power company donated 50 kVA single phase transformer, on the ground, outside, within 50' of stage location.  (3-phase not available.)

Idea:  200A service for now with 4 Californias and 2 14-50Rs on individual 50A breakers designated to stage and beer garden.  Mount panel on pole (near transformer) with 12' height for running stage power cables up pole and over sidewalk.  Current draw for now - 150A max on 3 Californias (50A sound, 50A lights, 50A beer garden). 

Festival currently has 1000 to 1500 people max, not growing tremendously.  If it outgrows this setup, idea 2:  Rent 3-phase generator, or install 2nd panel with lugs. 

A power company rep explained that these 50 kVA transformers are rated at 200A, but can sustain loads of 400A (just not every day for 20 years straight).

If we install a 2nd panel with lugs for a production that can use it would a 400A service be the way to go?

Does the idea seem reasonable, any thoughts to improve it?

Cheers
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 03:23:58 AM by Jeremy Oswin »
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Power upgrade for small town festival
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:35:47 AM »

Thank you TJ for excellent feedback.  Just met with electrician and city planner.  Power company donated 50 kVA single phase transformer, on the ground, outside, within 50' of stage location.  (3-phase not available.)

Idea:  200A service for now with 4 Californias and 2 14-50Rs on individual 50A breakers designated to stage and beer garden.  Mount panel on pole (near transformer) with 12' height for running stage power cables up pole and over sidewalk.  Current draw for now - 150A max on 3 Californias (50A sound, 50A lights, 50A beer garden). 

Festival currently has 1000 to 1500 people max, not growing tremendously.  If it outgrows this setup, idea 2:  Rent 3-phase generator, or install 2nd panel with lugs. 

A power company rep explained that these 50 kVA transformers are rated at 200A, but can sustain loads of 400A (just not every day for 20 years straight).

If we install a 2nd panel with lugs for a production that can use it would a 400A service be the way to go?

Does the idea seem reasonable, any thoughts to improve it?

Cheers

I think if you go past the point you are at you will need the generator! Anything moving towards 400 amps will want 3phase. I do think you have a good solution for now and possibly the next few years with your production though. Good luck!!
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bigTlamb

"If you suck on a functional analog desk, you'll really suck on a complex digital desk...." Dick Rees

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Power upgrade for small town festival
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:35:47 AM »


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