How we approach things
Keeping it simple
Our design philosophy is informed by our judgement that the simplest solution is most likely the right one. In practice this means avoiding designs that involve a scattering of small, portable gensets, a mess of domestic power boards and a tangle of single phase leads. Our approach is to focus on using high-amperage, three-phase house-supplies and large output, skid-mounted gensets as our primary sources of power. We prefer to reticulate power as a three-phase network and only drop down to single-phase when we get closer to the load points. In this way, there are less cables and boards to worry about and greater opportunity to build in reserve capacity. If this has piqued your interest, read on.
We start with an assessment of the capacity of the existing house-power infrastructure. If suitable three-phase outlets are available, we'll favour using them. Sometimes we'll even temporarily modify existing switchboards to improve the reliability of the house-power system. If house-power is unavailable or inadequate, the next step is to deploy diesel gensets.
Our approach is to select machines with a safe ratio of reserve capacity to load. This means reliability is high because reserve capacity is available to meet any additional demand that may arise through unforeseen circumstances. But we keep a balance and remain conscious of the importance of avoiding adverse impacts associated with excessive fuel consumption and noise.
We use a range of industrial-grade, portable distribution boards to accommodate three-phase outlets, power-locks or bolt-on bus-bars. We adopt a cascading approach that lays the power network backbone of the power as high amperage, three-phase cables. As the backbone passes load points, single-phase and three-phase outlets are tapped off.
All of our boards are customised with three-phase circuit breakers and separate RCDs protecting individual single-phase circuits. This approach means that if a trip occurs in one part of the network it will have minimal impact elsewhere in the network.
Sub-boards sit at the periphery of our power networks and are rarely embedded within the network backbone. For indoor applications we deploy our own in-house, wall-hung sub-boards incorporating multiple 10 amp and 15 amp sub-circuits, each RCD-protected. For outdoor events we deploy RCD-protected, industrial-grade, weather-proof sub-boards.
Connecting to loads
Supplying three-phase power to an electrical load often requires specialised connections. While 5 Pin plugs and sockets are the Australian Standard, it is not unusual to encounter other types, particularly for concert sound and lighting systems. We're fully kitted up with 4 Pin, Wilco, CEEform, Marechal and Powerlock fly leads and extension leads.
Our approach means that we're never caught out by the unexpected - if we don't have what's needed, we have enough cable, components and know-how to quickly make it.
For most events, but particularly outdoor festivals and concerts, trip and electrical hazards caused by power-distribution cables are highly problematic.
Our approach is to take no risks with safety. We've heavily invested in cable trays which we deploy wherever it is necessary to ensure safe pedestrian and vehicle traffic across traffic.
We have two methods of floodlighting an outdoor event. Where lighting is required in locations that are removed from our power network backbone, we deploy stand-alone lighting towers operating from small diesel gensets.
However, where we can locate floodlights in the vicinity of the power network or near house-power, our preferred arrangement is to deploy LED floodlights attached to poles or convenient fixtures. This approach is more economical, reliable and reduces the likelihood of problems associated with noise, fumes and safety.
Space lighting is the general term we use to describe a range of functional lighting applications where the requirement is more practical than decorative. It encompasses using track and arm-mounted, LED and incandescent spotlights and fluorescent lamps for exhibition display-booths and market stalls; suspended high bay lights and ground or pole-mounted up-lights in marquees; and industrial festoons to illuminate pedestrian thoroughfares.
Our approach is to be entirely responsive to the requirements of the client while understanding any constraints imposed by the site and the requirements of occupational health and safety standards.
The purpose of aesthetic lighting is to create or enhance the ambiance of an event. We understand that our clients have a specific look they're trying to create and often what gear or effects to achieve it.
Our approach is to help realise their vision through a mix of using pin-lights, up-lights, festoons and colour-wash lights from our inventory, powering signs or props provided by organisers or purchasing specialist lighting on instruction.
Before we go, we like to make sure that an event has adequate safety lighting. Whether to illuminate otherwise dark car parks, light up walkways and access paths or to mark egress points, we'll run our eye over the site and let you know if we seen any problems.
Our approach is that we've got skin in the game with the organiser and safety is in everyone's interest.