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Bright spark fuels green power possibility at Seed

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]e’re investigating the possibility of creating a centralised source of green power for theme camps, artists and core team infrastructure at Burning Seed. The Feasibility Study, below, is the first stage of dreaming a little dream with you – and it’s brought to you by one of the many bright sparks in our community.

Meet Troy Reid: keen-bean Burner, tech whizzzzzz and quarter-century veteran of the IT landscape, who works in infrastructure management. He has developed this study to assess interest and the possibility of generating central power using waste vegetable oil biofuel, with a view to using solar or wind in the future.

For a little squiz at the momentum building in standard festival world around sustainable power, have a little read of this. And if they can do it… well, we’re Burners, right?… we gotta be capable of finding a sustainable and innovative way to produce power and share the costs and benefits.

Ultimately, this feasibility study might reveal that PowerCity isn’t… well… feasible. But it will be the first of hopefully many innovative solutions that community members like Troy – and YOU – bring to the table, so we can find ways to use our pooled resources for the benefit of the collective.

Burners, countrymen and women, chuck us your ideas! And in the meantime, fill in the survey at the bottom.

So what’s this survey about?

Your survey feedback will enable us to assess interest and feasibility of centrally generating green electricity for the theme camps, art and central infrastructure of Red Earth City.

This will help us reduce generator noise and chemical pollution at the event (carbon footprint is a form of MOOP – just coz the MOOP is invisible doesn’t mean it’s not there).

Your feedback will also contribute to our other carbon footprint calculations and the potential to develop a carbon offset price per ticket sold.

Let’s talk technology

The power generation and storage plan would use an array of silenced generators in a fault-tolerant configuration fueled from Waste Vegetable Oil biodiesel  in combination with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) battery backup system to provide more reliable, efficient and cost-effective electricity than solutions deployed in previous years.

Building a re-usable power distribution network will also be included in the feasibility study. Current architecture under consideration by a team of industrial electricians is a 3-phase ring with periodic distribution points.

Power demands fluctuate significantly throughout the event, so the challenge is to produce just enough power to meet demand using multiple generators in various combinations so that any generator in use is always operating within its optimal efficiency range.

Generator switching will be automated through a computerised monitoring system that will engage and disengage generators automatically in response to demand. The UPS, sized to provide a 10-minute buffer under peak load conditions, will smooth out the transitions between generators and balance the supply and demand.

Interactivity

PowerCity might also incorporate an interactive multimedia visual arts installation. An array of stationary bikes with generators attached could offset diesel generators for anyone interested in generating pedal-power.

Not only will PowerCity be an elegant engineering solution and the life-blood of radical self-expression, it shall be a thing of beauty itself.

Looking to the future

The long-term goal of PowerCity is to eventually transition to electricity generated from renewable sources like wind and solar, backed by a sufficiently large power storage system; however, this is likely to be a multi-year development project guided by the growth of the event over time.

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