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Author Topic: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?  (Read 6418 times)

Todd Anisman

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Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« on: February 20, 2015, 08:14:24 am »

I am the sound person on a heavily modified art Vehicle. (i am NOT the electrician).  the onboard distro is not up to code, plenty of issues there.  Usually, this car goes out to the Burning Man Festival where there is no jurisdiction or other authority who does inspections.  THe situation is that the Car has been hired to be at a commercial festival, and has been told that it must supply its own power.

I have several thoughts/Concerns:

• is it legal to use Small gennie EU3000/6500 for a public event ?  a certain size (1500person cap)? 
• I am going to bypass the power distro system on the car in favor of running SOOW cabling 6/4, then out to a proper distro.  is that legal?


In other words am I/we going to get a hassle from the inspector?  Jurisdiction is Irvine Lake, CA Orange County.

It seems to me that the proper thing to do is get a proper 100kVA genset and properky power these systems, Ground them correctly etc.  otherwise it seems that liability insurance is useless....

I searched here on the forum, but I must be using the incorrect search terms...  Tried "Festival" "Festival Power" "Code for festival Power" etc.  any hints would be appreciated.  :)

thanks in advance

Todd A.


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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 08:24:43 am »

I am the sound person on a heavily modified art Vehicle. (i am NOT the electrician).  the onboard distro is not up to code, plenty of issues there.  Usually, this car goes out to the Burning Man Festival where there is no jurisdiction or other authority who does inspections.  THe situation is that the Car has been hired to be at a commercial festival, and has been told that it must supply its own power.

I have several thoughts/Concerns:

• is it legal to use Small gennie EU3000/6500 for a public event ?  a certain size (1500person cap)? 
• I am going to bypass the power distro system on the car in favor of running SOOW cabling 6/4, then out to a proper distro.  is that legal?


In other words am I/we going to get a hassle from the inspector?  Jurisdiction is Irvine Lake, CA Orange County.

It seems to me that the proper thing to do is get a proper 100kVA genset and properky power these systems, Ground them correctly etc.  otherwise it seems that liability insurance is useless....

I searched here on the forum, but I must be using the incorrect search terms...  Tried "Festival" "Festival Power" "Code for festival Power" etc.  any hints would be appreciated.  :)

thanks in advance

Todd A.

Ask the inspections department.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 08:39:55 am »



I am the sound person on a heavily modified art Vehicle. (i am NOT the electrician).  the onboard distro is not up to code, plenty of issues there.  Usually, this car goes out to the Burning Man Festival where there is no jurisdiction or other authority who does inspections.  THe situation is that the Car has been hired to be at a commercial festival, and has been told that it must supply its own power.

I have several thoughts/Concerns:

• is it legal to use Small gennie EU3000/6500 for a public event ?  a certain size (1500person cap)? 
• I am going to bypass the power distro system on the car in favor of running SOOW cabling 6/4, then out to a proper distro.  is that legal?


In other words am I/we going to get a hassle from the inspector?  Jurisdiction is Irvine Lake, CA Orange County.

It seems to me that the proper thing to do is get a proper 100kVA genset and properky power these systems, Ground them correctly etc.  otherwise it seems that liability insurance is useless....

I searched here on the forum, but I must be using the incorrect search terms...  Tried "Festival" "Festival Power" "Code for festival Power" etc.  any hints would be appreciated.  :)

thanks in advance

Todd A.
Is there documentable code?  Absolutely.  The NEC offers about 500 pages of light reading.  OSHA has some opinions as well.

Small portable generators when used according to code are fine.  The number of people in attendance changes none of the rules, however larger events are more likely to attract inspectors. 

Will the car need power while it's rolling?

There is quite a bit of space between a 6.5KVA and a 100KVA generator.  What do you actually need?  How do you know that 6/4 cable is the right size?  It certainly isn't for 100KVA.

A poor-quality/illegal distro isn't a good thing, and that will definitely shut you down if inspected, which is a much better outcome than an injury due to the poor-quality/illegal distro that shuts you down and puts someone in court or jail.
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frank kayser

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 11:01:55 am »

Is there documentable code?  Absolutely.  The NEC offers about 500 pages of light reading.  OSHA has some opinions as well.

Small portable generators when used according to code are fine.  The number of people in attendance changes none of the rules, however larger events are more likely to attract inspectors. 

Will the car need power while it's rolling?

There is quite a bit of space between a 6.5KVA and a 100KVA generator.  What do you actually need?  How do you know that 6/4 cable is the right size?  It certainly isn't for 100KVA.

A poor-quality/illegal distro isn't a good thing, and that will definitely shut you down if inspected, which is a much better outcome than an injury due to the poor-quality/illegal distro that shuts you down and puts someone in court or jail.
There are a number of posts here that describe using something like an EU3000 for power on a parade float.  So in VERY OVERLY BROAD terms, yes.
Figure your power needs, size the genny with ?SOME? capacity cushion, and work with an electrician who is very familiar with portable power, and has worked with the city inspectors, (not just had the work inspected).  You've got a lot of non-standard stuff going on there, that will require some judgement in applying the  NEC to the situation.


As far as Burning Man being in some jurisdiction or authority that does not do inspections, safety is the rule, and the laws of physics are absolute, unforgiving, and extract justice without warning.  And injuries there can be litigated, even those occurring at Burning Man.
frank
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 05:31:01 pm »

It has been discussed in passing in other threads here in the AC Power and Grounding section.

Basically, the installation on a parade float will be no different than any other stage with temporary generator power. As for grounding, you will probably find that you will be required to bond the neutral to the generator frame, and the generator frame to the frame of the vehicle -- this takes the place of a traditional "grounding rod." There should be only a single bonding point between neutral and ground: the one at the generator. The power distro should have electrically isolated ground and neutral (that is, there should be no bond in the distro, but rather ground and neutral run back to the genny where they are bonded).

All other aspects of the distro should follow NEC rules.
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Todd Anisman

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 08:07:00 pm »

Is there documentable code?  Absolutely.  The NEC offers about 500 pages of light reading.  OSHA has some opinions as well.

Small portable generators when used according to code are fine.  The number of people in attendance changes none of the rules, however larger events are more likely to attract inspectors. 

Will the car need power while it's rolling?

There is quite a bit of space between a 6.5KVA and a 100KVA generator.  What do you actually need?  How do you know that 6/4 cable is the right size?  It certainly isn't for 100KVA.

A poor-quality/illegal distro isn't a good thing, and that will definitely shut you down if inspected, which is a much better outcome than an injury due to the poor-quality/illegal distro that shuts you down and puts someone in court or jail.

• Car will not need power while mobile for this event, but it will move once.
• 6.5 kVa is what the minimum on the car is (though I really want 2x this), when I referred to 100kVA i meant for the entire event, which is 3 cars and a live stage. 
• 6/4 is correct size for running the basic sound system ~80a
• agreed on Distro, which is why I will bypass for festival in favor of a ca twist & breakout.  but I will consult someone, however, in Philippines right now, so email & Chatboards are my best option :)



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Todd Anisman

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 08:11:07 pm »

It has been discussed in passing in other threads here in the AC Power and Grounding section.

Basically, the installation on a parade float will be no different than any other stage with temporary generator power. As for grounding, you will probably find that you will be required to bond the neutral to the generator frame, and the generator frame to the frame of the vehicle -- this takes the place of a traditional "grounding rod." There should be only a single bonding point between neutral and ground: the one at the generator. The power distro should have electrically isolated ground and neutral (that is, there should be no bond in the distro, but rather ground and neutral run back to the genny where they are bonded).

All other aspects of the distro should follow NEC rules.

Thanks!  I didn't look for the NEC, but rather local codes.  Agreed on ALL points...  I didn't install the power system in teh car, but we will be redesigning it this summer, and I will make it as right as I can.  til then... well.. 

My biggest overriding issue is that the organizers of the festival are trying to be cheap and not supply power to the event, which frankly is kinda lame.  and leads us to these type discussions.  power w amateurs.  in my case I will be covered and spend the $ to do it correctly.  I am lucky in the sense that I am in it for the art, and not the $. 

-Todd A.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 12:29:20 am »

• Car will not need power while mobile for this event, but it will move once.
• 6.5 kVa is what the minimum on the car is (though I really want 2x this), when I referred to 100kVA i meant for the entire event, which is 3 cars and a live stage. 
• 6/4 is correct size for running the basic sound system ~80a
• agreed on Distro, which is why I will bypass for festival in favor of a ca twist & breakout.  but I will consult someone, however, in Philippines right now, so email & Chatboards are my best option :)

80a is a bit bigger than 6.5 kVa unless you are talking 12v. At 120/240v you need a 20kw and that is without headroom (my 20kw generator has a 90a main breaker). #6 wire (in 6/4) is rated at less than 50a with SOOW cable. Perhaps you mean 40a at 120/240 and are using both 120v circuits?


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Mike Sokol

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 07:10:55 am »

80a is a bit bigger than 6.5 kVa unless you are talking 12v. At 120/240v you need a 20kw and that is without headroom (my 20kw generator has a 90a main breaker). #6 wire (in 6/4) is rated at less than 50a with SOOW cable. Perhaps you mean 40a at 120/240 and are using both 120v circuits?


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Todd, can you give us a basic equipment list so we can give your a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) as to how my generator power you really need? We only need the big stuff such as power amps, lighting, hydraulic motors, etc...
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Guy Holt

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 10:17:56 am »

Is there documentable code?  Absolutely.  The NEC offers about 500 pages of light reading.  OSHA has some opinions as well.
 

If you want to cut the amount of Code to read down to what is most applicable in your situation you should read the following NEC articles:

NEC Article 250 “Grounding & Bonding”
NEC Article 525 “Carnivals, Circuses, Fairs, & Similar Events”
NEC Article 250 “Motion Picture and Television Studios and Similar Locations.”

I would pay particular attention to:

NEC Article 250.52 which stipulates that generators, as Separately Derived Systems, require a ground be installed if complete insulation from earth is not possible.

NEC Article 250.30A Requires bonding & grounding of separately derived systems
as described in 250.20(D).

NEC Article 525.23 requires GFCI protection for almost all of the 15- & 20-amp, 120-volt distribution located outdoors, with the exception of egress lighting. Egress lighting is not permitted to be connected to a circuit or receptacle that is protected by a GFCI.

NEC Article 525.11 “Multiple Sources of Supply” Where multiple services or separately derived systems, or both, supply portable structures, the Equipment Grounding Conductor of all the sources that serve such structures separated by less than 12ft shall be bonded together at the portable structures.

You should pay particular attention to a recent revision to NEC 445.20: Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection for Receptacles on 15kW or Smaller Portable Generators. The revised language for the 2014 edition of the NEC reads as follows:

“All 125-volt, single-phase, 15-and 20-ampere receptacle outlets that are a part of a 15-kW or smaller portable generator either shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel integral to the generator or receptacle or shall not be available for use when the 125/250-volt locking-type receptacle is in use. If the generator was manufactured or remanufactured prior to January 1, 2015, listed cord sets or devices incorporating listed ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel identified for portable use shall be permitted. If the generator does not have a 125/250-volt locking-type receptacle, this requirement shall not apply.”

What this means is that, as municipalities adopt the 2014 edition of the NEC, GFCI devices will have to be used on the 125V outlets of generators like the Honda EU6500is, or the new EU7000is, when the 240-volt twist-lock receptacle is in use as you propose.

As for grounding, you will probably find that you will be required to bond the neutral to the generator frame, and the generator frame to the frame of the vehicle -- this takes the place of a traditional "grounding rod." There should be only a single bonding point between neutral and ground: the one at the generator. The power distro should have electrically isolated ground and neutral (that is, there should be no bond in the distro, but rather ground and neutral run back to the genny where they are bonded).  All other aspects of the distro should follow NEC rules.
 

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is not cut and dry on the question of grounding portable generators. According to NEC Article 250.52 grounding electrodes (ground rods) are required if the generator is a “Separately Derived System.” What is a Separately Derived System? The NEC in Article 100 defines a Separately Derived System as:

“… premises wiring system whose power is derived from a battery, from a solar photovoltaic system, or from a generator, transformer, or converter windings, and that has no direct electrical connection, including a solidly connected grounded circuit conductor, to supply conductors originating in another system.“

This makes any generator that is used as a stand-alone power source to supply independent of the location wiring a “Separately Derived System” that requires earth grounding with a ground electrode. The one exception to NEC Article 250.52, is when the conditions of NEC Article 250.34 "Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators" below are met:

(A) Portable Generators. The frame of a portable generator shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by the generator under the following conditions:
(1) The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator, cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, or both, and
(2) The non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the receptacles are bonded to the generator frame.”

NEC Article 250.34 permits the Honda portable gas generators not to be earth grounded, nor have their neutrals be bonded to the equipment grounding conductor (EGC). For this reason the neutral circuit of most Honda portable gas generators is not bonded to the frame of the generator or to the earth ground lead. These generators are commonly called Floating Neutral generators. The floating neutral configuration is common for applications such as connection to a recreational vehicle and connection to home power where the transfer switch does not switch out the neutral to ground connection.

6.5 kVa is what the minimum on the car is (though I really want 2x this…. 
 

80a is a bit bigger than 6.5 kVa …. At 120/240v you need a 20kw and that is without headroom (my 20kw generator has a 90a main breaker).
 

An intermediate option between a 6.5kVA portable and a 20kVA tow plant that will supply the 80 Amps, and then some head room, that Todd wants is to parallel two Honda EU6500s or the new EU7000.  A couple of modified EU7000s or EU6500s will provide 120A at 120V (unmodified they can supply 100A.) But, you won’t be able to run 6/4 from the generators and split it out with a break-out box because operating the generators in parallel creates an open neutral condition. With a open neutral, the voltage will float according to how the two legs of the generators are loaded. For example, if we put a 2kw load on one leg, the voltage on that leg will drop to 0, and the voltage on the unloaded leg will jump to 240V.  Only when the second leg is loaded with an equal 2kw load will the voltage on each leg even out to 120V and the loads turn on.

For this reason, when operating the EU7000s and EU6500s in parallel a 240V-to-120V step-down transformer/distro is required. The open neutral condition does not pose a problem when using a transformer/distro because a 240V-to-120V step-down transformer splits whatever load you put on the secondary between the two legs of the primary.  For that reason, the generators only see a perfectly balanced load and the voltage on each leg floats to 120V even though there is an open neutral (the neutral that enables the use of 120V phase-to-neutral loads is created by bonding the neutral of the transformer secondary to the equipment grounding conductor.)

For more detailed information on paralleling portable Honda generators, I would suggest you read a white paper I wrote for our company newsletter on the use of portable generators in motion picture lighting.

Guy Holt, Gaffer,
ScreenLight & Grip
www.screenlightandgrip.com
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 10:32:22 am by Guy Holt »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 10:24:44 am »

Guy, et al...

The info is all good, but IME confronting a local inspector who is making the call with info contrary to what he wants to do on the spot is fruitless no matter how right you are.  Certainly knowing your s***  when contacting the relevant authority IN ADVANCE is to be recommended, but nothing you can say on the day/on site is going to help you out if the inspector says no go.

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frank kayser

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 11:23:24 am »

Guy, et al...

The info is all good, but IME confronting a local inspector who is making the call with info contrary to what he wants to do on the spot is fruitless no matter how right you are.  Certainly knowing your s***  when contacting the relevant authority IN ADVANCE is to be recommended, but nothing you can say on the day/on site is going to help you out if the inspector says no go.
Unfortunately, true that.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 12:14:11 pm »

Arguing with an inspector is akin to wrestling a pig in the mud.  Nothing much is accomplished-and the pig enjoys it!
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Todd Anisman

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2015, 06:21:26 am »

80a is a bit bigger than 6.5 kVa unless you are talking 12v. At 120/240v you need a 20kw and that is without headroom (my 20kw generator has a 90a main breaker). #6 wire (in 6/4) is rated at less than 50a with SOOW cable. Perhaps you mean 40a at 120/240 and are using both 120v circuits?


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yes - Splitting the two hot lines in the 6/4 to two 120v circuits yes.  I apologize if i get some of my terminology incorrect.  I am learning.  :)

-Todd
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Guy Holt

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 05:15:09 pm »

yes - Splitting the two hot lines in the 6/4 to two 120v circuits yes. 

Is that two 40A/120V circuits to make 80A total or two 80A/120V circuits to make 160A Total?

Guy Holt, Gaffer
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2015, 10:22:16 am »

I believe that 2 (hot lines) times 2 (120V circuits each) equals 4 * 20A=80A total load, so 40A/leg.
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Re: Festival Power - Is there Documentable Code?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2015, 10:22:16 am »


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