Moose Energy
Energy Project Services

Business Case 1 - Energy Storage for an outdoor theatre production

Voluntry work for local theatre group: Dankzij De Dijken

Reason for work: grant application

Outcome: Grant approved

For a local outdoor theatre production in 2023 I was asked to estimate whether it would be possible to use a battery setup for energy supply instead of a noisy and smelly diesel generator. To ascertain whether or not this was possible I had to map out the energy demands per operating day and if we could charge the battery. The first step is to estimate how all the energy demanding equipment would be used (time and power demands). 

Poster Design: Julia Jager

Location setup and energy demand per location per day

A single tent would be placed in the meadow near the river with an area for catering, make up, theatre wing, combo area, sound and lights. There would be around 22 theatre spots used and in the past this would probably be more than 20kW in terms of power on its own, but thanks to LED technology this is is reduced to 5.4kW which is about a fourth in terms of power requirements and the big contributor here is still be the smoke machine of around 2kW. 

Maybe not surprising the catering requires more in terms of power. It takes a lot of energy to make a coffee and keep it warm. 

The individual machines were rated and an operating time assigned, which led to the values of energy us you see in the pciture to the left.  For this production 40kWh of energy is predicted to be necessary every day. 


Charging opportunites

The location was near the river the Meuse which runs past Lith (North Brabant) and around 200 m from the nearest house which only had a single standard wall contact (240V, 13A).
Using an long extension cable this would result in a voltage drop across the cable of around 30V at a 10A current draw.
A look around the internet showed that it should be possible to get a trailer based battery with specifications of more than 40kWp power and 150kWh of energy when fully charged. A trailer based would be preferred since anything bigger has different transportation problems and the road to the location is narrow and in case of rain potentialy problematic (It would not be the first time I see a large trailer stuck in the mud for an outdoor production).




Running the show and charging during the day

Having all the data, a simple simulation was run which showed that we could leave the battery, for the 2 weeks that the production ran, on its location. We did not need to top-up charge. 

The next point would then be cost

The total energy expected to be used would be: 367 kWh during the 2 weeks which at a cost of €0.61 per kWh would result in €223 electricity cost which would be less than then the €361 worth of diesel, but the cost of the rental would be much higher and availability of the battery was an issue. 

Solar charging was also considered: for this we would need 5kW solar panel setup in the meadow (based on operating time per day and minimum yield during that time of the  year), which would add extra cost to the setup. 

Hopefully next year we can run the whole show from a small solar park.