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Author Topic: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision  (Read 1094 times)

Louis Miller

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Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« on: May 03, 2021, 03:48:34 pm »

Hello!

I'm putting on a live outdoor event later this month and I'm trying to decide what lithium generator (or combination of generatiors) will be sufficient.  I'm choosing between buying:

Goal Zero Yeti 3000
https://www.goalzero.com/shop/archive-power/goal-zero-yeti-3000-lithium-portable-power-station-app/

or

A pair of Bluetti EB2400s
https://www.bluetti.com/products/blutti-1500wh-portable-power-station

I have a coupon for the Yeti and can get it for about $2400, so if it is sufficient I'd sooner buy the Yeti than the pair of Bluettis for $3000.

 The concert will run about 6-7 hours, and I'll be powering

- 2x Fender Expo Line-Array PA Columns
POWER REQUIREMENT 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, 600W (doesn't specify continuous vs. max)

- 1 Yamaha MGP16x Mixing Board
55 W Max

- 1 Fender Champ 25 SE
25 W speaker, 100 W max

- 1 PolyTone MiniBrute III Guitar/Bass Amp


As far as I can tell, the decision hinges primarily on total watt-hours.  I know that it can be tough to tell the actual power draw/hour when the volume is variable, so my instinct was to get the full 5000 wH in the two Bluettis, but then I read this post on gearspace:

"Buy a Yeti 1000 at Costco, for purposes of audio it's practically the equivalent of a standard 20 amp wall outlet. Not exaggerating, I have used one Yeti 1000 to power a pair of Bose F1 tops, a very loud and inefficient Orange guitar head, a tube amp bass guitar head, and a myriad of small electronics, all at the same time.

I have used the Yeti 1000 [1000 wH]  multiple dozens of times at outdoor events and can vouch for it. I have a pair of Alto TS208's, so the TS210's smaller sibling but same amplifier, and one Yeti 1000 will power a pair of TS210's for at least eight hours, easily, and that's if you're really pushing them hard."


So if the Yeti 1000 can power two large powered PA speakers for 8+ hours, am I wrong in assuming that the 3000 could run my show for 7 hours with plenty left to spare?  Thanks for any input here,  it's a big investment and I need all the help I can get!

-Lou
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MattLeonard

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2021, 05:20:21 pm »

This is my niche - doing smaller systems, almost always off-grid (protests, rallies, press conferences, parades/floats etc), and I don't own a single gas generator. You can absolutely DIY a battery/inverter setup for cheaper than any of the brand name so-called "solar generators" - but, the form factor and simplicity of those units is a nice perk. I have several 1500 watt Inergy units, and various lithium batteries and inverters up to 6,000 watts/50 amps.

First - anything with Class D amplifiers will sip power. The 1/8th RMS rating (that any amp/powered speaker should spec) is pretty realistic for most musical program material - more if really bass-heavy, and less if it's a lot of speech.

Get yourself a kill-a-watt meter - plug everything in, and you'll get a good estimate of your power usage . Rrom there, you can figure out an appropriately-sized inverter and battery. I'm guessing your whole setup will only draw 300-500 watts at most. Multiply that by the number of hours you want to operate - give a margin of safety - and that's the battery you need.

In terms of Goal Zero - fine units, but geared towards more of a tailgating/car camping/prepper market - and very overpriced for what they are. But they are well-designed. The Bluetti stuff tends to be more affordable, but similarly well designed.

The challenge with most of these units is they have a fixed  battery capacity - I often don't have huge loads (I can easily run 4x powered speakers and peripherals on a 1500w inverter) - but how long I need to run them is key. So, having the ability to expand your battery bank is important - and few of the common solar generator systems allow this. Inergy does (their new Flex system is shipping this month), as does Titan (but they are quite big and heavy), and there are new units popping up constantly from new/no-name companies that do too - take your chances.

But if you up for modest DIY'ing it - you could spend ~$1,500-2,000 on an inverter, charger, cables/breakers/fuses, and LiFeP04 batteries  - and have more flexibility and more power for less cost. Follow Will Prowse on YouTube if you want to explore this route.

Hello!

I'm putting on a live outdoor event later this month and I'm trying to decide what lithium generator (or combination of generatiors) will be sufficient.  I'm choosing between buying:

Goal Zero Yeti 3000
https://www.goalzero.com/shop/archive-power/goal-zero-yeti-3000-lithium-portable-power-station-app/

or

A pair of Bluetti EB2400s
https://www.bluetti.com/products/blutti-1500wh-portable-power-station

I have a coupon for the Yeti and can get it for about $2400, so if it is sufficient I'd sooner buy the Yeti than the pair of Bluettis for $3000.

 The concert will run about 6-7 hours, and I'll be powering

- 2x Fender Expo Line-Array PA Columns
POWER REQUIREMENT 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, 600W (doesn't specify continuous vs. max)

- 1 Yamaha MGP16x Mixing Board
55 W Max

- 1 Fender Champ 25 SE
25 W speaker, 100 W max

- 1 PolyTone MiniBrute III Guitar/Bass Amp


As far as I can tell, the decision hinges primarily on total watt-hours.  I know that it can be tough to tell the actual power draw/hour when the volume is variable, so my instinct was to get the full 5000 wH in the two Bluettis, but then I read this post on gearspace:

"Buy a Yeti 1000 at Costco, for purposes of audio it's practically the equivalent of a standard 20 amp wall outlet. Not exaggerating, I have used one Yeti 1000 to power a pair of Bose F1 tops, a very loud and inefficient Orange guitar head, a tube amp bass guitar head, and a myriad of small electronics, all at the same time.

I have used the Yeti 1000 [1000 wH]  multiple dozens of times at outdoor events and can vouch for it. I have a pair of Alto TS208's, so the TS210's smaller sibling but same amplifier, and one Yeti 1000 will power a pair of TS210's for at least eight hours, easily, and that's if you're really pushing them hard."


So if the Yeti 1000 can power two large powered PA speakers for 8+ hours, am I wrong in assuming that the 3000 could run my show for 7 hours with plenty left to spare?  Thanks for any input here,  it's a big investment and I need all the help I can get!

-Lou
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Steve-White

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2021, 08:40:30 pm »

For an outdoor event keep it simple - rent a quiet inverter generator - done.  Save your money.

If its something you are going to do doing repeatedly, a Honda EB2800i is $1000, needs less maintenance and will outlast rechargeable batteries significantly.
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Louis Miller

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 11:33:46 pm »

This is my niche - doing smaller systems, almost always off-grid (protests, rallies, press conferences, parades/floats etc), and I don't own a single gas generator. You can absolutely DIY a battery/inverter setup for cheaper than any of the brand name so-called "solar generators" - but, the form factor and simplicity of those units is a nice perk. I have several 1500 watt Inergy units, and various lithium batteries and inverters up to 6,000 watts/50 amps.

First - anything with Class D amplifiers will sip power. The 1/8th RMS rating (that any amp/powered speaker should spec) is pretty realistic for most musical program material - more if really bass-heavy, and less if it's a lot of speech.

Get yourself a kill-a-watt meter - plug everything in, and you'll get a good estimate of your power usage . Rrom there, you can figure out an appropriately-sized inverter and battery. I'm guessing your whole setup will only draw 300-500 watts at most. Multiply that by the number of hours you want to operate - give a margin of safety - and that's the battery you need.

In terms of Goal Zero - fine units, but geared towards more of a tailgating/car camping/prepper market - and very overpriced for what they are. But they are well-designed. The Bluetti stuff tends to be more affordable, but similarly well designed.

The challenge with most of these units is they have a fixed  battery capacity - I often don't have huge loads (I can easily run 4x powered speakers and peripherals on a 1500w inverter) - but how long I need to run them is key. So, having the ability to expand your battery bank is important - and few of the common solar generator systems allow this. Inergy does (their new Flex system is shipping this month), as does Titan (but they are quite big and heavy), and there are new units popping up constantly from new/no-name companies that do too - take your chances.

But if you up for modest DIY'ing it - you could spend ~$1,500-2,000 on an inverter, charger, cables/breakers/fuses, and LiFeP04 batteries  - and have more flexibility and more power for less cost. Follow Will Prowse on YouTube if you want to explore this route.

Thanks, this is super-helpful!  One last question:  when I measure the power demand with the kill-a-watt meter, I'll turn the speakers and amps up to the right volume level, but is it important that the speakers actually be producing sound when I measure the power?  Can they be turned up but silent?  Thanks, very much, again.  -Louis
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Craig Leerman

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 11:49:35 pm »

I regularly use some small inverter generators for gigs. I bought A-Ipower units from Costco when they were on sale years ago. I have blue ones that use a Yamaha engine. The newer design has wheels and a handle.

I also have some red ones I got from Home Depot that were cheaper but dont use a Yamaha engine. They seem to be just as good. My inventory also includes a few Sportsman mini inverter generators. They were cheap at an auction so I bought them.

I like using gas generators because I always bring a spare in case a unit dies. Many small inverter generators are under $500 each and you can get them at Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, etc. or online.

Also, on longer gigs I can refill a generator, unlike a battery
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David Morison

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 08:15:39 am »

Thanks, this is super-helpful!  One last question:  when I measure the power demand with the kill-a-watt meter, I'll turn the speakers and amps up to the right volume level, but is it important that the speakers actually be producing sound when I measure the power?  Can they be turned up but silent?  Thanks, very much, again.  -Louis

The only way that the power demand measurement will be realistic is if the speakers are up at gig/event volume.
If you found a way of decoupling the speakers from their amps and still turned up the amps, the power draw would be lower as the amps would not be delivering current into a real load.

IOW, "turned up but silent" won't work, and is likely not even be possible for a self powered system anyway.

Cheers,
David.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 08:19:11 am by David Morison »
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MattLeonard

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 11:43:16 am »

For an outdoor event keep it simple - rent a quiet inverter generator - done.  Save your money.

If its something you are going to do doing repeatedly, a Honda EB2800i is $1000, needs less maintenance and will outlast rechargeable batteries significantly.

I would counter this - with modern lithium (LI, or LiFeP04) batteries - there is basically zero maintenance. Maybe tossing them on a charger every ~6 months if you haven't used them in a while. But no fuel to buy, transport, store, or spill. No filters to change, no parts to grease, no moving parts to wear out. Modern batteries will last 2,000-5,000 cycles easily - 10+ years with more-than-weekly use.

And depending on the frequency of use - the fuel/maintenance costs of a gennie add up over time - whereas my solar-powered rigs don't cost me a dime past the initial purchase.
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 01:02:27 pm »

Matt is giving some good guidance here. More generally, while there are folks who'll insist on an IC engine until they pry it out of their stinky, diesel-soaked hands, I believe batteries are the future in these applications. Electric road vehicles, aircraft, and stationery power storage are driving battery development. As I've said before in these pages, MQ power and their ilk would do well to be developing trailer-mounted 50 - 200 kWh battery-inverter units that could power good-sized outdoor events.  Imagine being able to park the thing right next to the stage with no noise, no stink, no huge power cable, no wet-stacking, and "hi-fi" 60.0000 Hz sine-wave power. Given what a new Whisper Watt costs and where battery prices are going these are going to reach parity before too long, especially when maintenance is taken into account. My 2 Wh.

--Frank
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 01:25:00 pm »

Slight swerve here
  The battery powered alternative for gas generators and vehicles
  Electric cars rear its ugly head again,  where do you charge ?
 almost no infrastructure to support electric vehicles not to mention their laughable driving range and the power stations to do it on an already aging electrical grid system.
 Science supported articles out there that talk about batteries that can hardly be recycled and the chemicals can last over a hundred years.
  Where are we supposed to dump all these gigantic quantities of batteries that cannot be recycled.
 It's very similar to the plastic bottle recycling hoax . If you have a minute look up the gigantic islands of plastic floating in the ocean pictures, it's unbelievable.
       We can get gas engines emissions under control .
 The earth cannot clean up a nasty rechargeable lithium, Etc batteries


Does anybody else need to use this soapbox now that I'm done with it ?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 01:32:11 pm by lindsay Dean »
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Art Welter

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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 04:28:52 pm »

Thanks, this is super-helpful!  One last question:  when I measure the power demand with the kill-a-watt meter, I'll turn the speakers and amps up to the right volume level, but is it important that the speakers actually be producing sound when I measure the power?  Can they be turned up but silent?  Thanks, very much, again.  -Louis
Louis,

The quiescent load "turned up (and on) but silent" is useful to know, the power needed will never drop below that load. Some devices, like a mixer or a tube amplifier may draw almost the same power at idle as "full tilt boogie", but the stuff doing work converting power into sound (and mostly heat..) peak draw may be as much as 100 times the quiescent power use.

You can lay the speakers down on pillows or carpet to reduce noise when testing, but the speaker load must remain connected, and be playing similar program material at the same level as will be used during the show for the "Kill-a-watt" meter test to be valid.

Art
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Re: Help With Lithium Power Generator Decision
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 04:28:52 pm »


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