Written by Troy Reid and Rhys Alconley-Jones
[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urning Seed often means different things to different people. The experience can vary from integrally connective to wildly discombobulating, and whether we’re coming apart at the seams or holding it together with sass and style often comes down to the quality of connection that we have with each other, our environment, and ourselves.
The PowerCity feasibility study aimed to explore how we connect electronically. Do we stick to our petrochemical guns; atomised campsites each with generator louder and smellier than a Trash Mansion barwoman whirring till the wee hours of the morn? Or can we share power, quite literally, and engineer a solution both by and for the community?
While the feasibility study is ongoing, the project survey component is now concluded, and we are amped to brag about what we learnt.
The nuts & bolts
Thanks to everyone that took time to answer the survey questions. From the 58 survey responses received in total, there was overwhelming support for the proposal and all 21 theme camp organisers, art exhibitors and team leaders responded unanimously in favour of a dedicated professional team taking responsibility for power generation and distribution, because quite frankly it is a big pain in the arse.
If it proceeds, the most favoured funding model for the proposal was an increase in the event ticket price and based on the survey data we now roughly know how much electricity we need at this year’s event. For you nerdy types here are the magical numbers:
Projected power requirements: min=30kVA | avg=50kVA | max=160kVA
Projected energy requirements: 6,440kWh (liberated from 1,800L B100 BioDiesel)
Projected CO2 production/abatement required (calculated as 2.64kg of CO2/L): 4,752kg
For those interested in how these figures were arrived at, feel free to check out both the raw survey data as well as the calculations worksheet here.
The survey also invited people to register interest in becoming a part of the project implementation. Here is an impressive summary of the surprising talent within our burner community that have put their hands up: Electrical Engineer (1); Mechanical Engineer (1); Software Engineer (1); Engineering Technician (1); Licensed Electricians (3); Solar Systems Specialist (1) and Fearless Enthusiasts (7).
With a gene pool this sexy, we feel sure that the PowerCity project could easily evolve into something that shoots electrons into your next cuddle-puddle-spank-sessions, psychedelic aerobic workouts, or whatever else you freaks are into.
EmPOWERment and principle
There have been some concerns expressed that with electricity effectively ‘outsourced’, we’ll turn into an ultra-entitled out-group, demanding kilowatts and centrelink payments with no sense of, or respect for, the principle of Self-Reliance.
While this is always a possibility, the Communal Effort principle has something to say about this too. By pooling our resources and skills together, we can emPOWER our Theme Camps and Red Earth city to provide an even greater space for self-expression. And mother nature will be pretty stoked too.
Watts next I hear you ask? Well we are still in the process of validating and costing a range of competing solutions with a view to having the feasibility study completed by the end of May. So watch this space.