Large generator for powering art

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Large generator for powering art

Postby j_cavera » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:40 am

I am in the process of working on a proposal for an art installation that requires a good-sized generator. My estimate is that it would consume about 400 gallons of gas during the week of the burn. Have others successfully dealt with this? Are there any tricks I should know about? Should I get a large tank and trailer, or is a small tank with periodic re-fueling easier to work with? Or if anyone knows of other (inexpensive!) ways of getting 10-15 kW through the night, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:33 am

I have no idea what you're planning, but I wonder about this 50 gallons a day thing. I bet our village doesn't use half that the entire week. ARe you having a million incandescent lights burning day or night?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:41 am

"I wonder about this 50 gallons a day thing. I bet our village doesn't use half that the entire week."
Either your village is pretty stone-age, or you're clearly not the one in charge of power logistics!

Most people that have large installations that require that kind of power use rental diesel generators.
Find out who supplies the other BM generators and use the same company, they're out there with tanker trucks taking care of the fuel. Probably United Rentals, but I forget, better check.
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Postby j_cavera » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:42 am

Not a million incandescent lamps (though that would be COOL), but 50-ish computers and CRT's and assorted LEDs for illumination. Running for 12 hours per night, about 100 hours total. The 15kW generators I've looked at consume about 3-4 gallons per hour at full load. Definately going to try to get power consumption below 10kW.

And again, not a camp but an art installation. And yes, this is the first time I've ever done anything so power-intensive. Good to know about the rental company handling the fuel. Know of any good rental companies to use?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:50 am

I know you said art installation. Camps is what I have experience at. Sorry.
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Postby Dustdevil » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:22 am

If the units you are looking at consume 3-4 gallons per hour to make 10-15 KW, I would suggest looking at other units. I supply power for several large camps. My small generator is an MQ70 Whisperwatt. (70KVA)Running at 75% of max load and the power properly distributed it will run a camp of 600 or more people on 1 1/2 gallons per hour.
Your post said you will be running computers and other electronic gear. It is imperative that you use a genny that has a clean and stable output. Not all units have that. You will damage you gear if you fail to keep the power clean. The larger Whisperwatt units use an electronic voltage regulator that will keep the power at a predetermined level and eliminate spikes in voltage and frequency. If you contact me off list I will advise you further about the fueling questions.

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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:54 am

Are you appling for a grant ?

If so, the Artery might supply you with a generator unit, and schedule fuel deliveries for you.

you might be able to get them to do just the Gennie, or even just the fuel deliveries, if not.

Just a thought....
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Postby Tiahaar » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:46 pm

Damn I love your new HorseKick sig OED, its a keeper!!!
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Postby justfred » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:46 pm

j_cavera wrote:...50-ish computers and CRT's...


Rather than paying for gas and schleppage for all those CRTs, seems like it would make sense to get used/scrapped/damaged LCDs. People get rid of smaller (up to 19") LCDs all the time.

LCD takes far less power, and should last better in the desert anyway, and at the end you'll pretty much have to throw everything away due to dust damage, so there's another plus. With time to engineer it, you might even be able to "shrinkwrap" the LCD screens (I don't think they gen much heat - certainly less than a tube) and be able to use them again.
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Postby j_cavera » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:05 pm

We're using CRT's since they are very easy to come by (no one really wants 'em anymore). If I can find LCD's for a similar price point, then by all means I'm going to use them, I'm just not counting my chickens. And if anyone wants to let go of an old LCD monitor between 19" and 24" diagonal, then hit me off list!

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Postby mdmf007 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:51 pm

you shouldn't be burning more than 20 gallons a day 24/7 for 15 KW - and thats with a real inefficient genny set.

we rent big and small generators. Rule of thumb is 1 gallon a day per hp.

looking in our yard 15kw should not take more than 18HP.

Get a diesel fired generator as well. Cheaper to run, more reliable.

PM me if you need more specific numbers.

later
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Postby rodiponer » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:11 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:If so, the Artery might supply you with a generator unit, and schedule fuel deliveries for you.

you might be able to get them to do just the Gennie, or even just the fuel deliveries, if not.


Hey! I didn't know that. Maybe I will apply for a grant for my photo sharing device just for power. I really wanted to do that last year, the device where you plug your camera memory cards into it and it shares other peoples shrunk down images onto your card, but got stuck on the cost of powering it. I need about 200 watts/day for one with no monitor, or 800 watts/day for one with an efficient 24" LED backlit monitor.

The least expensive off grid power system I found is to use a panel that is too small to completely recharge the batteries every day. But size the batteries so that they can handle a small daily deficit-- so that they are running almost too low to be usable after 8 days, but by then, who cares-- was still $600.

Or, does anyone know how possible it is to get a small footprint art piece (maybe a 2' square that's 4' tall) placed in centercamp or some other part of the city with a grid, and plugged in, if not constantly, then with an extension cord two or three times during the event for a few hours?

j_cavera: I have about 10 1U and 2U rackmount servers if that would be any help for you. They are all Dell's of 2003 to 2007 vintage, dual or quad processor, RAID SCSI, and etc.
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Postby Bob » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:38 pm

Phone Burning Man.

Ask for the art department, then ask what vendors they use.

If they're clueless, ask for DPW, then ask what vendors they use.

If neither can answer your query, you're at the wrong fucking art festival.
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Postby phil » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:47 pm

> but 50-ish computers and CRT's and assorted LEDs for illumination.

Do you know how much power you're going to draw? It's hard to talk about generators without knowing how much power you're going to consume.
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Postby Stickygreen » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:07 pm

http://www.allstarrents.com/
they will have what you need
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Postby Dustdevil » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:42 am

Be aware that most rental yards base a week on 40 hours of use. All Star Rents is no exception. They also add a $250 cleaning and service surcharge. These are not unreasonble fees. The units need to be serviced after a week in the desert. Plan your budget accordingly.

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Postby mdmf007 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:32 pm

For what your going to pay in rent - you could pay most of a generator off if not outright.

Dont forget the cheapest way to stabilize power from a genny for your computers is to run it through some UPS's there is no direct tie from the generator to the computers that way and you have the added benefit of being able to recover from generator failure before your puters die.
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Postby justfred » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:39 pm

FYI, LCD monitors for cheap:

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/sys/1585475051.html

I have 750-1000 computer LCD Flat Screen Monitors for sale. They vary in brand...mostly Dell. They range in sizes....15", 17", 18", 19", 20".

Our business is located in Phoenix but am in San Diego all the time. We are only interested in selling these monitors in Bulk 30+ and can deliver to your door. We do not expect payment until you are satisfied with the order. All the LCDs are in perfect working condition. We also have monitors available that do not work but have perfect working LCD screens.

Prices are anywhere between $50-$70 each. Please email me or call for more details and if you're interested. Thanks!
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