How to use the Voltstack 30k Electric Generator in Film Productions

Voltstack 30k electric generator at a film production in LA, California.
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In March 2022, the SEC issued a proposed rule that would standardize the way public companies report on climate-related risks and their own carbon emissions. The proposed rule would include every major film studio in the world. This means that now, more than ever, film productions need to consciously monitor their respective emissions. The conversation has undoubtedly moved on from simply recycling plastic bottles. Some of the world’s leading film and TV productions are using innovative solutions like the Voltstack 30k to reduce their carbon impact.

What is the Voltstack 30k?

The Voltstack 30k is an electric generator or power station. Like every other product in the Voltstack ecosystem, the Voltstack 30k is silent, mobile and emission-free. This makes it the perfect solution for off-grid film productions, construction projects or large-scale events, especially when emissions-free performance is the goal.

How the film industry is using the Voltstack 30k

A while back, we covered how electric generators are generally used in the film industry. From our “In the Field” section, you’ll know that these mobile power plants are used in tandem with diesel generators or are replacing diesel generators entirely within film productions. These behemoths of clean, silent power are used to address a myriad of power-related concerns. From powering honeywagons and catering to being the source of power for the rigging electric department.

“Several shows have used it to power their trucks overnight while others have used it to power their base camp,” says Jason Fitzgerald, Owner of Hollywood Portable Power. “One show recently used it towed behind a golf cart for a long ‘walk and talk’ at night. They really are an incredibly versatile tool, as well as a great way to save some diesel fuel and generate less carbon.”

A seasoned rigging gaffer in the film world, Jason has been instrumental in helping us fine-tune our Voltstack 30k for the film industry.

Use case 1: Clean, quiet power only

“When using a Voltstack 30k to power a basecamp, consider that the Voltstack 30k three-phase unit provides about 8,500W per phase across the three phases or legs versus the Voltstack 30k single-phase unit which supplies about 13,000W per phase across two legs,” says Jason. “Most basecamps these days are three-phase although there is still the occasional holdout that runs a single-phase basecamp.”

Jason also asks first-time users to consider the energy storage of the Voltstack 30k. For the uninitiated, the Voltstack 30k comes with 80,000W of total storage. That means that at 8000W of consumption, an end-user will get 10 hours of run time. Alternatively, at 20,000W of consumption, an end-user will get four hours of run time.

Use case 2: Hybridizing with a diesel generator

“While powering a basecamp, the Voltstack 30k is typically hybridized with a diesel genset,” explains Jason. “In this scenario, the basecamp gets plugged into the Voltstack 30k which supplies power-on-demand in the 3000W to 9,000W range. When the Voltstack 30k runs down to some predetermined level, it gets recharged with the production’s diesel generator running at a 24,000W to 27,000W charge rate in about three hours. The diesel fuel burn rate for three hours at a medium throttle is more efficient than running a generator for a full day at those relatively low levels.”

Use case 3: In conjunction with grid power

Another way film productions can use the Voltstack 30k electric generator is by charging the unit with grid power. “In this scenario, the Voltstack 30k would need to be replaced with another power source while the Voltstack 30k is being charged by the grid. The additional power source could be a diesel generator or, if your production is serious about its sustainability, another Voltstack 30k.”

From Jason’s experience, most productions are more comfortable with burning the carbon and recharging from the Voltstack 30k from a diesel generator than they are with the duplicated cost of a second unit that gets towed to a grid power source for recharging.

The Voltstack 30k is super simple to use, but don’t take our word for it. Read the quick start user guide and see for yourself.

To learn more about how Voltstack clean energy e-Generators can help your film production become more sustainable, get in touch with an Energy Consultant today!