For several years we have been developing ways to use market leading and rider friendly audio concert systems that are 100% powered by renewable energy, eliminating the need for fossil fuel generators that are currently essential for most large outdoor concerts, and which the industry has indicated they are keen to move away from. Our current system involve the capture and storage of renewable solar and wind power in large 24V battery banks which are then scaled up to 240V using inverters and used to power efficient class D amplifiers. The aim is to create a scalable system that is very reliable and can be used confidently for audiences of over 1000 people, of the sort of concerts we are regularly engaged with throughout the year.
One of the major problems we have had is with the inefficiency of the inverters we currently use which means we cannot currently drive the amplifiers to the levels we need to reach, and their inflexibility when it comes to the kind of voltage peaks that is inherent with audio (for example when someone hits a snare drum there is a sudden associated voltage draw). Added to this, we have realised the need to try to add a backup biodiesel generator which will kick in should the battery levels decrease below a threshold or their efficiency be monitored as less than required at any point, kind of like a UPS in reverse.
We believe that the main thing standing in the way of truly scalable renewable powered concert systems at present is the lossy nature of the inversion process which is not keeping pace with the increased efficiency of modern amplifiers. We would like to build a small technology demonstrator that could be scaled up to make a system that is capable of reliably powering a large outdoor festival stage for the course of a weekend using a mix of solar, wind and backup biodiesel power sources. We believe there will be an increasing demand for a system like this over the next decade through talking to our partners and sources at various UK festivals.
My personal background is as a sound engineer of 22 years experience including a degree in music technology, and also as an open source and Linux enthusiast. Having worked on this idea for at least 5 years already we already have a good supply of parts, test equipment and resources to fully test and utilise this new inverter to see if a scalable system can be produced.