Shaun Pearce, MD Pearce Hire discusses some of the challenges around temporary power supply for the upcoming 2018 season.
Over the past 12 months Pearce Hire has supplied over 2,000 events across the UK, providing award-winning temporary power distribution and infrastructure, lighting, audio, staging, consultancy and technical production services.
Any updates on how you are using/supplying power?
As far as possible, and with the co-operation of clients we focus on pre-designing distribution systems from the earliest point of the planning process. We make sure that we understand the expectations of the event, and analyse the power consumption from previous years before we begin any planning.
For example, this sort of information can enable us to plan the installation of centrally located, on-demand generator systems prior to going on site which is critical to providing fuel-efficient solutions which are as environmentally sustainable as possible, whilst addressing the load fluctuations of an event.
Pearce Hire is introducing monitoring & telemetry systems for on-site generators – for monitoring the output of the bespoke power management systems we install.
These systems feature the ability to monitor on-site power systems remotely via phone or laptop, record detailed power consumption, fuel usage, running hours, average loads and peaks and troughs.
This will become an important part of our service to clients as we predict increasing demands from clients for monitoring and reporting on power used, with KPIs and target setting for reduced power consumption and lower carbon footprints. So, the gathering of this data in will be invaluable.
Are power demands surging?
In a word – Yes.
The challenges of temporary power provision escalate year-on-year. Event organisers expect those delivering their power supply to support their stated green credentials.
Power supply companies are expected to review alternative methods of power supply delivery and to reduce the event’s carbon footprint year-on-year. All this alongside client budgetary restraints makes for increasing challenges in terms of delivering temporary power infrastructure.
Throughout 2017 we also noticed how tender requirements and RFPs have been received with ever decreasing lead times. Are the last minute demands a power and production company so often faces from clients a reflection of the modern mind-set that you can order one day, and have delivered the next?
This ‘short lead time mentality’ isn’t conducive to event production – which, as we all know requires in-depth planning, understanding, and consultation on best practice in order to maximise efficiencies, deliver cost savings and reduce environmental impact – all of which are demanded by our clients.
Our 2018 festival season wish is to encourage the industry to think ahead, provide longer lead times and better notification to allow the power company a depth understanding of requirements and a chance to offer a consultative production service from the start of the planning process through to conclusion.
This will help avoid over-specifying and allow a full review of systems in order to more effectively and efficiently influence carbon footprint on events and reduce costs at the same time. The discussions for power requirements for this summer should already be well underway.
What innovations are to come in the power sector?
As a company Pearce Hire has committed to continuing to working with energy efficient diesel generators, installing intelligent, load-sharing multi-generator power solutions to reduce emissions, fuel consumption and the overall carbon footprint of events when using diesel.
Systems are regularly reviewed, and Pearce Hire are currently exploring the introduction of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel as part of our temporary power services which will further reduce non-renewable carbon output.
HVO fuel is a renewable diesel fuel which is chemically equivalent to fossil diesel fuel and can be used in existing diesel engines whilst significantly reducing non-renewable C02 emissions.
Pearce Hire plans to trial the introduction of HVO fuel for a handful of events during the 2018 festival season, and we are excited to analyse the results, alongside our other established sustainable initiatives and ‘best practice’ services.
How do you work with client requirements?
We like to encourage our clients to be open to change – and willing to adapt their requirements towards more cost-efficient solutions. But this takes time and consultation.
Remember – power requirements are the base foundation of your event – without power there will be no lighting, no audio and no stage for your acts to appear on! Power provision should, by necessity, be far further up the planning process than it currently sits.