Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

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Funkfish
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Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:51 am

It seems a lot of members of our camp are looking into purchasing tiny little noisy generators for various reasons. So I've decided it would be a good idea to look into renting a power grid for our camp.

Our camp consists of about 60 people. The power requirements off the top of my head are.

Sound system (we're not a full sound camp. We just have some CDJs, QSC K12's, DJ monitors and maybe a sub)
Camp lighting
Individual tent/yurt power (this is to be used for swamp coolers, and interior lighting while changing)
Kitchen power
Various power tools
Fancy ecofriendly outdoor shower system that I don't know much about.
1 Light up art piece.
Large swamp cooler for Bedouin tent.

I'm wondering from people who've done this before, what should something like this cost?

I put in a quote for a 25kw genny at a place in Reno for 8/23 - 9/4 and they quoted me at 2,600 dollars at only 8/hrs day running. Does this sound accurate?

I read through these two articles:
http://www.templetons.com/brad/burn/burn-power.html
http://www.templetons.com/brad/burn/generators.html

Which was very helpful but the prices he quotes seem to be much lower.

If anyone has general advice about setting this feel free to share. I believe we'll have an electrician in our camp but he's not part of the setup (yet :evil: )

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:23 am

It doesn't sound like you need 25kw... If 60 people all pitched in $60 each you could buy two Honda EU3000s that you could parallel-connect and you would then own them for following years. Or if everyone pitched in $75 you could get the big bad EU6500. Just something to think about.
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Funkfish
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:30 am

Yeah we probably don't need 25kw this year. However we do plan on out growing a EU6500 by next year which is why we looked into renting.

It's also tough because we're an east coast based camp so heavy things like generators would have to live on the west coast and then essentially only get used once a year. So buying doesn't make as much sense to us currently as renting does.

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some seeing eye
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:33 am

25KW is way too much for what you describe.

To plan a camp grid you will need to become much more expert on the camp loads in Watts and what hours each and every Watt is needed. Tent/yurt swamp coolers are <100 Watts each.

A camp grid needs cabling and spider boxes which have rental costs. The extension cords to the spider boxes are additional cost.

Managing loads is all about breakers in amps, but most of your loads are smaller than typical breakers.

You can often find trailer mounted generators on Craigslist.

Suggest you delegate this ASAP to one of your campers who understand Volts and Amps in detail.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:49 am

I do understand volts/amps/watts in enough to research this. I'm not an electrician but I have a degree in sound engineering so I'm not exactly clueless.

My post was more dumbed down for general forum chat. But the sound system alone

1 QSC K-12 is 1000W RMS. * 3 = 3000W
1 SUB 1000W RMS = 4000W
DJ gear is like 100W
Power tools TBD but not trivial
Lighting / Swamp coolers not much

So we're at least at 4500W then take in the unforeseen needs/headroom/reduced generator efficiency on the playa and a Honda EU65000 (which is rated at 5500W) might barely be enough.

Yes a 25kw generator is more than double this but I haven't found a place to rent something larger than an EU6500 but smaller than 25kw.

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some seeing eye
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Audio equipment Watts are peak Watts. That will rarely if ever be reached.

I always recommend an audio sound level meter, normal listening volumes at normal listening distances require minimal power. Typical efficiencies are 90-100 dB with 1 Watt. Put an Ammeter on your mains powering the speakers at home under normal listening volumes, ideally outside, for an exact number. We ran the PA for BM stage off inverted deep cycle batteries, and without efficient Class D amps.

Running the PA at full power while everyone is sleeping in swamp cooled spaces?

Nail down your kitchen loads. Heating elements can add up.

Air conditioned RV's are electricity hogs. The largest portable power tool I have is about 1500W and you can schedule power tools one at a time. You can use your generator to charge deep cycle batteries for LED lighting.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:27 pm

You're right that marketing wise audio watts are peak watts. But notice that I said the speakers are 1000W RMS. They're 2000W Peak so that's where I drew my calculation from.

So if I were to go the EU6500 route does anyone know where you can rent these and what to expect to pay?

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GreyCoyote
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:35 pm

The rental guys are trying to use a diesel generator, and that is smart. The problem is the sizing starts at about 20 to 25 kw, so thats what they are pitching you.

If you need less than 7kw, look at renting a halogen light pole genny. Just dont use the lights! They have a couple of full-power twist-lock outlets you can use.

Btw: diesel at 1800 rpm is THE way to go for reliability and sheer steady power.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:43 pm

My comment on peak Watts was peak 110V plug mains power drawn. If you measure it with an Ammeter meter driving your expected bass-heavy program material, you will have a real number which may surprise you.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Token
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Token » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:35 pm

Funkfish wrote: I put in a quote for a 25kw genny at a place in Reno for 8/23 - 9/4 and they quoted me at 2,600 dollars at only 8/hrs day running. Does this sound accurate?
WOW! Does that include the lube as they try to rape you on this rental fee?

A 25KW should run $400 - $500 per week, maybe $1500 max per month. Usually closer to $1000 per month.

Google is your friend.

Read this http://www.templetons.com/brad/burn/generators.html

Are you really bound to Reno only? I think the local shops are jacking the prices. A hour or two out of Reno you might get much better value.

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:27 pm

Funkfish wrote: So buying doesn't make as much sense to us currently as renting does.
haha…

OK, if you're from the Right Coast then logistics get more fun. If buying your own would get you by for this year and you can't rent for a lot less, it's still worth thinking about because if you rent this year, when the event is over you have nothing - if you buy, when the event is over you have a few thousand dollars worth of very easy-to-liquidate merchandise. Is anyone coming with a truck, or do you all fly in?
I was guessing any camp that needs more than 5 or 6 kW has enough other gear that there's some sort of equipment transportation setup.

Renting from the same company that BM does may be advantageous for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is arranging the fueling since they are already out there with fuel trucks.
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:23 pm

So the good news is I miscalculated the power requirements a bit. I was concerned with the wattage but really I should have been looking at the amperage. Each speaker is about 2amps. So the whole system is about 12-17amps. The $1000 dollar Honda EU2000 could almost handle this.

I did have a feeling I was getting ripped off at $2,600 which is why I posted on here. I too read that article a while ago.

I guess the question is. Is it possible to rent something like an EU6500 and if so what would I be looking to pay for a week?

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:42 pm

A quick trip out to google got me this: http://cfgrentals.com/honda-eu6500is/ It's not local to you or the burn, but it's an example of what others are asking.

Looks like about $250/wk, but the question still remains if they will let it out to go to TTITD. No way to cover-up the dust it will ingest. They will KNOW where it's been. :mrgreen:
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Token
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Token » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:04 am

Funkfish wrote:So the good news is I miscalculated the power requirements a bit. I was concerned with the wattage but really I should have been looking at the amperage. Each speaker is about 2amps. So the whole system is about 12-17amps. The $1000 dollar Honda EU2000 could almost handle this.

I did have a feeling I was getting ripped off at $2,600 which is why I posted on here. I too read that article a while ago.

I guess the question is. Is it possible to rent something like an EU6500 and if so what would I be looking to pay for a week?
Oh Cheese and Rice! I just looked at the specs on those speakers ... Class D amplifiers, as in Delusional statements of power. Those are 200W MAX jobbies, as in cannot draw more than 200W even if it dreams of it.

An EU2000i is more than enough for the sound part. Thing won't pull more than 5A @ 120V

Now, tell us about the Power Tools. Are we talking a big-ass 5HP continuous duty air compressor or a Makita drill?

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:28 am

I happen to have a 5hp compressor in my garage with some Honda EU 2000s literally sitting right next to it. I could find out if one of them will start it or not if you want. I know two of them will.
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by GreyCoyote » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:52 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:I happen to have a 5hp compressor in my garage with some Honda EU 2000s literally sitting right next to it. I could find out if one of them will start it or not if you want. I know two of them will.
Those HP ratings have always confused me. Someone isnt doing the math: 1 hp is 750 watts. 5 hp is 3750 watts or 31 amps at 120 volts. How many consumers have a 30-amp outlet installed anywhere?

Sorry. Thread drift. End rant. :mrgreen:
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:56 am

You'll also want to see this post, and make sure any providers you're dealing with are already registered and/or permitted (it's too late to start now if they don't already have it).

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Popeye » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:54 pm

Those HP ratings have always confused me. Someone isnt doing the math: 1 hp is 750 watts. 5 hp is 3750 watts or 31 amps at 120 volts. How many consumers have a 30-amp outlet installed anywhere?
Yes, electric HP ratings are pretty much meaningless. Probably correct for about 1 second before the smoke comes out :) . UL forces the correct amp rating, so you can use that to determine the load, the rest is marketing BS.
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:44 pm

Since we're talking about the Honda EU2000 does anyone have any experience with this Hyundai generator? http://www.amazon.com/Hyundai-HY2000si- ... B004919NEK It seems to be similarly spec'd but about half the price. Thoughts?

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Token » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:56 pm

Funkfish wrote:Since we're talking about the Honda EU2000 does anyone have any experience with this Hyundai generator? http://www.amazon.com/Hyundai-HY2000si- ... B004919NEK It seems to be similarly spec'd but about half the price. Thoughts?
Negative partner.

Two EU2000i gennys, 1600+ hours each of real playa run-time (plus about another 2000 hours each off-playa).

Changed Oil, Cleaned Filters, Checked Spark Plugs (Still originals, in spec).

Added Gas.

They start on the second pull like clockwork.

You can take that to the bank and there will be a hoard of devoted Honda fanatics, hackers and makers to back up these claims here shortly.

And now on a serious note, penny wise, pound foolish is the phrase for getting anything other than the Honda or Yamaha ultra-quiet gennys when you talk Burning Man abuse.

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Funkfish » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:05 pm

Token wrote: penny wise, pound foolish is the phrase for getting anything other than the Honda or Yamaha ultra-quiet gennys when you talk Burning Man abuse.
Haha that was the exact word I used when talking to my camp mates. But budget is tight and we're trying to maximize our spend.

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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by GreyCoyote » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:00 pm

Token wrote: You can take that to the bank and there will be a hoard of devoted Honda fanatics, hackers and makers to back up these claims here shortly.

And now on a serious note, penny wise, pound foolish is the phrase for getting anything other than the Honda or Yamaha ultra-quiet gennys when you talk Burning Man abuse.
I completely agree with Token. (Notice my Honda fanboy hat?) There is Honda (and now Yamaha too), and then there is everything else. It's the difference between a BMW and a Yugo.

Honda's will start on the first or second pull, every time. Sips gas. Quiet. Last forever. Easy to service. (synthetic oil changes and routine servicing can be done with a screwdriver and one wrench). As testament, take a look at the prices these machines command on eBay, even in their work-clothes with hundreds of hours on the clock.

Quality isn't cheap. Spend the money if you can. You will NOT be sorry.
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Re: Renting a power grid level generator - advice needed

Post by Stickygreen » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:41 am

spend the money on a Honda you won't regretted it!

I bought a used eu3000 for $1200 - 5 years ago, I brought it to the playa 3 times, plus used it for general camping/regional events all the time.... I just sold it for $1300. (downsized to a eu2000)

Yup, that math is correct, i used the thing for 5 years, beat the crap out of it actually!!! and I made a profit of $100!
you can't do that with hyundia, or some other cheaper than Honda shit generator.
)'(

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