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Episode 4 – Temporary Power for Live Events


The episode discusses temporary power for live events and the use of battery energy storage systems. The guests, Neel Vasavada, Sean Jacobs, and Richard Cadena, share their experiences and insights in the field. They talk about the advantages of battery energy storage systems over diesel generators, including reliability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. They share their passion for green energy and live entertainment, the challenges of powering a sustainable concert, the reliability of battery energy storage, and the sizing of the system for optimal performance. The discussion also delves into the challenges of regulations and standards for battery energy storage systems and the need for industry collaboration to shape the codes. The episode concludes with a discussion on future plans and upcoming events for Cadena and Overdrive Energy Solutions.


  • Battery energy storage systems are more reliable, flexible, and cost-effective compared to diesel generators.
  • The lack of familiarity and established regulations for battery energy storage systems is a challenge in the industry.
  • Efforts are being made to develop and clarify regulations and standards for battery energy storage systems.
  • Industry collaboration and involvement in code writing and standard development is crucial for shaping the future of battery energy storage systems.
  • Communication, load profiling, and understanding supplemental power sources are key factors when renting a battery energy storage system for a live event.  

Lollapalooza images and video courtesy of Overdrive Energy Solutions and Richard Cadena. Used with permission.


Neel Vasavada
Founder, Overdrive Energy Solutions


Sean Jacobs
Lead Engineer, Overdrive Energy Solutions



Richard Cadena
Author, ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician,
Founder, Academy of Production Technology


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Any statements or views expressed by the hosts or guests on Leading the Charge are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of POWR2, their partners or affiliates.



Kevin Sturmer 0:00
Coming up on Leading the Charge.

Richard Cadena 0:01
How many fuel filters, filters, start with the fuel filter the air filter.

Neel Vasavada 0:09
Tim, how many consumables are on the power to how many things do you require your users to replace every three months at 3000 Miles?

Tim Doling 0:16
Really isn’t anything other than the forced air filters. And yeah, the ones that were used at Burning Man needed to be changed often, but in a regular event, really, nothing needs to be done.

Kevin Sturmer 0:29
This is Leading the Charge where we talk innovation and insights in the industry of sustainable energy. Leading the Charge is brought to you by POWR2 a global provider of energy storage solutions. Let’s simplify sustainability. And now from the POWR2 studio and broadcasting everywhere from LeadingtheCharge.io. Here are your hosts Tim Doling, and Kevin Sturmer. Hello, and welcome to leading the charge where we talk about battery energy storage, insights, innovation, and the industry of sustainable energy. My name is Kevin and I work in the marketing department of a company called POWR2 and with us, as always, is our fantastic co host, the incredible Tim Doling, he is the Director of Innovation here at POWR2 a quick hello to you, Tim because we have a jam packed episode talking about all things temporary power for live events. And we are lucky enough to be joined by a panel of absolute experts in this field. We have Neel Vasavada, Sean Jacobs and Richard Cadena joining us on the podcast. Thank you all for being here. My pleasure. Good to be here. Now for those who might not know, Neel has experience in both green energy and live entertainment and is the founder of a company called Overdrive, and they work with clients to make sustainable energy easy and affordable. Sean works with Neel and is the lead designer at overdrive. And he also has many credits to his name, including the touring tech and set carpenter for Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame. As you might know, Richard is an author, a freelance lighting designer and ETCP recognized trainer and ETCP certified elect entertainment electrician, as well as the founder of the Academy of Production and Technology. Some great resumes all around. Let’s get to know you. First. Let’s start with Neel, how did you get started with green energy, live entertainment, and what ignited your passion to form overdrive?

Neel Vasavada 2:30
Oh, my career kind of led me to here. I have a background in hybrid electric vehicle, electric vehicle development. I started at the University of Wisconsin, back in 1994, working with hybrid electric vehicles. And I went on to start a vehicle control systems company where we worked with Tesla, Zero Electric Motorcycles, the US Department of Energy, and a number of other companies doing data acquisition and control systems. I was asked to help in a business development role with a company that was providing equipment for large stadium shows and music festivals around 2012. Right in the wake of the great recession. So I stepped in to help and ended up working in that field, doing both things. For about a decade. During the pandemic, there wasn’t much for shows. And I was speaking with some of my contacts at the US Department of Energy about where technology had had evolved. And it sure seemed to me that we could handle the loads that I see at the shows that we do. And then we didn’t have to be burning diesel like we have been. So we started working on it. And I’d say 2020. And we did our first sort of test activation in early 2023. And in just one short year, we’ve become the largest provider of temporary sustainable energy systems in live events. There’s companies with more gear, there’s companies with more resources, but in terms of large, successful, high impact, highly visible shows, Overdrive has now done, you know quite a few of them and and it’s growing every day.

Kevin Sturmer 4:36
Fantastic. And thank you for being here. Sean, let’s talk a little bit about your career. What’s how you got started, and eventually how you met Neel and joined overdrive.

Sean Jacobs 4:46
Sure. Yeah. So I actually got a master’s degree in electrical engineering, specializing in manufacturing of high efficiency solar cells. And in that While I was doing my Masters, I kind of fell into being a touring technician for Roger Waters. And that’s a that’s a different story for another time. But I had, I had the idea I experienced also independently that the technology was kind of finally there to, to really shift gears on how we on how we power events with with the advent of LED everything now, you know, the loads have dropped significantly, Class D amplifiers like. So I said, the only way we’re really going to know if we can do this as if we really know what we’re consuming. So independently, I on the Roger Waters tour, I started to monitor and log every departments consumption at every show. And I started to get all of this data and learning that we actually didn’t need generators a number of times when the building didn’t have enough power for us. So some some people in some nonprofits found out what I was doing. And they connected me with Neel saying, oh, we should we should talk. And that’s when I met Neel and told him what I was doing. And he liked my background. And I liked his what he was doing. And I said, Wait, this is this is a match made in heaven. This is perfect.

Kevin Sturmer 6:24
It sounds like a great fit. And then, Richard, I’ve seen your work in lighting design, and it is fantastic. With that. What do you love about that? And also, what do you love about teaching and inspiring this new generation based on your experience?

Richard Cadena 6:40
What’s not to love? I mean, I have a lot of experience and being able to share it with new people coming in, there’s nothing more rewarding than when you share your knowledge. And then you get the fruits of that later on. When people send you emails and letters saying, Hey, you helped me get a lighting design job on Broadway, or you helped me get on this big tour or whatever. So it’s just, it’s really rewarding to be able to go out working in the field, and take that knowledge and experience and then share it with people.

Kevin Sturmer 7:11
So, so wonderful. I’m impressed by all of you. And then somehow you all connected together. Last summer, Billie Eilish and Reverb wanted to do a full set at Lollapalooza, that was sustainable, powered by, you know, a solar array. What brought that together? Can you talk a little bit about planning that and then making that such a success?

Richard Cadena 7:35
Yeah, I’ve been doing this presentation that about that I called Protect the Stage. And it’s, it’s designed to raise awareness about the hazards of using electricity on stages. Some people have been fatally electrocuted. So I tried to prevent that happening. So I did that presentation at the event Safety Alliance at the Safety Summit. I think that’s where Neel, and I connected, because I think he saw that, and then you talk afterwards. And you know, you talk to a lot of people. And sometimes it goes somewhere, sometimes it doesn’t. But this happened to work out. And I love what Neel and Overdrive is doing. And, you know, it’s just so wonderful to be able to, again, take this information and apply it in ways that have never been applied before and it’s kind of cutting edge. So that’s I think that’s how we got together, isn’t that right, Neel?

Neel Vasavada 8:27
That’s right. And I think one thing to highlight about both Sean and Richard and myself, is that one of the reasons why things are moving forward in our little group, here’s where we’re at happy accident, what were the accident that needed to happen. We, you know, in the portable in a temporary power world, there aren’t a lot of engineers, if you think about it, all of the traditional companies that you go to, to rent generators are technician companies, they get hardware from third parties like power to, and then they deploy them. You know, at the same time, the hardware developers, they aren’t always aware of all the use cases and all the little nuances that the gear that they’re building is going to be going to because they’re not actually the primary users. By having Sean and myself and Richard and our partner boxer, we have a very diverse group of skills. You know, both Sean and I are, are people with engineering degrees that know our way around the toolbox? You know, we can swing hammers, and just as well as as we can do calculus. That’s not a common skill these days. And sometimes in order to push innovation forward and to make change. You need these sort of oddball skill sets, which is something that I think we have, you know, in droves.

Kevin Sturmer 9:56
That’s so great to hear, you know, the people coming together bringing their specific skills together to make something may be greater than they could have individually. It’s always a nice thing to see. What was the planning process like for Lollapalooza, there? How many solar panels did you use? How many POWRBANKs did you use? I mean, you were powering so much on that stage. And I think I even read that there was power left over after that. So what what exactly went into that?

Neel Vasavada 10:25
There was a lot. So first of all, we didn’t do the whole show. You know, there’s a lot of a lot of skepticism, a lot of concerns. And the only thing that we were allowed to do is what’s called the floor package, which is the stuff that was used for Billie Eilish’s show, and no one else’s. So that was, I believe, a 400 amp service, four 200 amp services, and one 100 amp service, give you guys and your audience an idea. The whole stage, the whole show might have eight of these 400s, you know, so we may be all said and done powered about a third of the show. As far as preparation and everything. There was none.

Richard Cadena 11:08
That was the hardest part because it was hard to get information. And, you know, we had in a perfect world, you have pre production, and you have equipment lists, you have a lighting plot and everything you’re going to be powering. And then you can build a spreadsheet, and you can add up all the loads. And you can figure out how much power you use, and then look at the run schedule and see how much energy well we had none to test. We’re kind of shooting from the hip. So we’re kind of throwing dart a little bit. And it worked out well. But it we it’s really nail biting too, not having all the information. So

Neel Vasavada 11:46
That’s not necessarily, you know, a bad thing, because a big strength of electrification and the sorts of hardware that we’re using, like POWR2 is it’s very flexible, right? We can, we can compensate on site very, very well, much better than diesel. So part of the success of Billie Eilish was, we knew we were walking to a low inflammation situation. So what we did from the get go, was design everything from the solar, to the POWR2 units that we use, even how we set up the wire, and everything so that we’d have as many options as we could on site to make it work the way we needed to.

Kevin Sturmer 11:52
And that’s the reality, when you’re, you’re breaking new ground, you’re doing something new, that really hasn’t been done a lot, there’s not a benchmark out there to look to you’re the ones who are basically setting the benchmark. And what’s also lost a lot of times on people as they rely a lot on diesel. They think that’s very reliable, because they’ve used it and it’s worked before. And then there’s this new technology called the battery energy storage system and what they don’t realize that there’s a lot of moving parts with it, and a lot of possibility for breakdown. There aren’t any moving parts in a battery energy storage system. It’s not only is it scalable and silent. It’s very reliable. So can you talk a little bit about that the reliability factor? In your experience?

Neel Vasavada 13:12
Well, I’ll start but you know, Sean, I think Sean can also give some insight. First of all, they’re simply more inherently reliable than diesel generators. Full stop. Only advantage that a diesel generator has is that you can refuel it in, say, 10 minutes versus, you know, it could take 10 hours to recharge. So in any situation, where refilling the tank is not the biggest concern. You could be more reliable using a battery inverter system like a POWR2 than a diesel generator, and more sustainable, and safer, and easier. I go on the sort of podcasts and stuff all the time. And as an engineer, I say that the main impediment to adoption is culture. It’s not technology. There are how many moving parts are there in a power to let’s count, there’s two cooling fans. There’s three, four doors, so they have hinges on them. Okay, so we’re up to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 – two cooling fans a bunch of hinges. That’s everything that moves and can wear out on a POWR2 where do you want to start with a diesel engine?

Richard Cadena 14:33
you how many fuel filters are on a POWr2?

Neel Vasavada 14:33
No filters

Richard Cadena 14:36
Start with the fuel filter, the air filter?

Neel Vasavada 14:40
Tim, how many consumables are on the power to how many things do you require your users to replace every three months at 3000 Miles?

Tim Doling 14:47
really isn’t anything other than the forced air filters. And yeah, the ones that were used at Burning Man needed to be changed often but in a regular event. Really nothing needs to be done.

Sean Jacobs 15:00
When we were at Lollapalooza, they had to do a couple of oil changes on the generators that were right next to us. And there was a bunch of oil spilled on the ground and a big mess. So that was that was amusing.

Tim Doling 15:12
I had a question on that on the generators. So if you’re running a stage, and there’s lots of different artists, but only one of them has asked for battery energy storage, how does the rest of the stage get fired up? Is it just with diesel generators?

Sean Jacobs 15:24
Yeah, they had a large twin pack, running the entire time to run all of the stage video lighting PA. And that runs at 480 volt with transformers under the stage at various locations. And then there was another set of breakouts where we plugged in our equipment that was meant for what’s called Guest Services, which is all the stuff that the artist brings in their trucks that gets plugged in separately.

Tim Doling 15:56
Gotcha. Thanks for that.

Sean Jacobs 15:58
So what was what was interesting actually is, in the days before the show, as they were setting everything up, and we had our solar panels out in the field, charging our batteries, the generator was running the entire time, the generator that’s designed to run the entire stage, it was running day and night. And when we came in, in the morning, the fuel truck came in, and I just casually inquired how much how much fuel is, you know, they added 100 gallons, in 24 hours, literally powering nothing, just just a couple of motors here and there running up and down. And this is, this is an amazing, immediate opportunity for battery hybrid systems where, you know, you can easily run all of the gear for the days leading up to an event on a battery on a single POWR2 for example. And then you could swap it over to the generator, if you didn’t trust the right battery system for for all the larger loads.

Tim Doling 16:56
And it’s just a quick, immediate win that people could have immediate.

Neel Vasavada 17:00
I mean, you know, when you’re talking about reliability too, like, think about this for a second, they start the generators, and they leave them running for five or six days, because they’re nervous that if they shut them off, they won’t restart. That’s the current paradigm. I mean, it’s it’s almost ridiculous if you think about it.

Sean Jacobs 17:21
But at the same time, when you run a generator at 10% load for days, you’re actually damaging the generator more than if you’re if you’re running it at 70 80% load. So this is another benefit where direct hybridization is an easy win, where you don’t run your generator until you need to recharge your batteries. And then you run it at 80% load for a couple hours.

Richard Cadena 17:44
Yeah, you don’t get wet stacking with batteries.

Neel Vasavada 17:46
So just think about that for a second. If people want their generators to be more reliable, they should be buying Tim’s products. That actually makes your generator more reliable.

Tim Doling 17:57
Of course, I would agree with that Neel.

Neel Vasavada 18:01
But isn’t that, think about, when I say it’s cultural folks, think about this, there’s a perception when something goes down, they look at you and they say you must be the new stuff, when the new stuff here actually makes the old stuff more reliable. That’s culture. That’s not engineering, that’s education.

Sean Jacobs 18:19
Now, there was a bit of a challenge, just in terms of sizing the system, you know, again, we because we never got to do rehearsals, with the equipment that they were bringing on stage, we didn’t really know what the loads were. So we have to go with their requests for a 200 amp, you know, 200 amp 208 volt, three phase service to internet pier, 400 ampere and 100 amp. So we have to, we have to be able to provide that much power. And then assessing how much battery capacity we need, we have to assume some percentage of load for some amount of time of the show. And all of these are just back of the envelope calculations because they never let us actually measure anything. Now, during the rehearsals once they loaded everything in, we asked the lighting designer, turn everything on to 100%. We asked the video department, turn turn your video on full bright, full white 100%. Let’s see what actually happens. And this was before the show, so we could actually do some testing. I forget the exact numbers but they were nowhere near I think we may be stressed one of the systems a little bit but really they were nowhere near the limits, especially the audio especially the special effects. We had 100 amp service for the toaster, which is this rapid elevator basically that shoots Billie up into the air in the beginning of the show. That’s the only thing that that service 100 amp service is being used for to run that one toaster. And we tested it you couldn’t even see the load on it because it was too fast. It was it was basically running a small compressor to build up pressure Then an actually to release it. And it happened so quickly that you couldn’t see the load on it. And now to say, Okay, we need a separate 100 amp service for this. What I discovered on the Roger Waters tour when I was measuring every departments power consumption, for example, the lighting department requested a 400 amp service for stage left and afford an amp service for stage right. They never drew more than 100 amps. So when you come to us a situation where they can’t, you can’t provide that much power, you have to think more cleverly like, Okay, why don’t we combine this and this together, because we know now with the data, we’re never going to go over these limits. So there’s a lot of more like, again, once you have the information, you can do more clever engineering about the sharing, but it’s not something that touring technicians are comfortable doing yet,

Richard Cadena 20:56
We did eventually get an equipment list very late in the game. And I put together a spreadsheet and, and calculated all the wattages. And it turned out, see add them all up, it worked out to be something like 325 amps, so they were justified. That’s for the lighting floor package. And so they were justified in asking for a 400 amp 3 phase service. However, they never never turned everything on full at one time.

Neel Vasavada 21:24
To give you guys some numbers, the total amount of the stored energy that was used was 6.6%. So as far as battery charge, they use nothing. Okay, the total amount of power, the maximum, the percentage of the maximum power that they used, was 8%. So although we did push one of the units in testing, during the show, it never got even near the lighting service hit 20%. At one point, the lighting service at one point, he was 1/5 of what was spec’d. And then in terms of current draw that lighting service actually did draw 26% on one of the three legs. But as you see here, we were using a fraction of what the specified energy was. And so yes, we could have chosen to do, we could have done all of the headliner sets, or we could have done all of Billie’s equipment on stage, we had a lot of a lot of over capability. And another thing to think about this, folks is that that’s cost, right. So the upfront cost of this, knowing what was needed, probably could have been half if not a third. And we don’t have any numbers for fuel savings. But I’m willing to bet, you know, this activation was actually cost competitive with what they were doing for diesel generators, if they looked at all the other costs involved. distro’s a whole other thing we could talk about, too.

Kevin Sturmer 22:59
That’s interesting to see, like now that we have some hard data to look at. And we can better understand the peak loads. I mean, you you were mentioned, testing at 100%. But understanding you know exactly what is the peak load? What is the average load what what is being consumed? And as you said, I think it comes down to saving money. There are definitely challenges. Can you talk about? Getting them to just show up at a live event, the battery energy storage systems? What what’s involved in just saying getting people to rely on them from the get go?

Neel Vasavada 23:34
Well, I think the problem simply is a lack of familiarity. So So you know, the conversation we need to move toward is we have a regulatory history with diesel generators, every fire marshal, every building inspector knows what they’re looking for with diesel generators, what we’ve been running into a little bit more and more as, as this new gear shows up on the site. These the regulatory officials take a look at them and say, Well, what codes? What standards do these meet? They need to meet standards and codes. And so far, when you have open minded inspectors, you know, it’s not hard to look at this and say, I’d rather be standing next to that than a diesel generator. There’s less of a chance of that being a safety issue than this diesel generator. But there’s also people who follow the letter of law, and there is no law that has been written for these things. So that I think is the challenge is, is is helping people who are who are tasked with applying certain laws, regulations and standards to deal with gear when such laws, regulations and standards haven’t been fully developed yet.

Kevin Sturmer 24:56
And Richard, I know you’ve been part of writing some specific pieces of code in the past that are industry related. Are there any specific articles or pieces that you could see that would be referenced? If somebody’s using a battery energy storage system?

Richard Cadena 25:13
Sure. The batteries themselves, there’s a UL standard 1973. And that tests the batteries for various things with basically no, are they going to explode or the knocking squared, that kind of thing batteries themselves. And then there is 990, size UL 9540, which is how everything’s packaged. And that has to do with wiring gauge the spacing of the terminals, you know, is it going to arc? Is he going to catch fire, is it not? Is there a shock hazard? Is our parts guarded those kinds of things? And is it protected from the environment. And then of course, 9540a, UL 9540a is more to do with the thermal runaway and the fire hazard. So fire marshals are typically interested in 9540a, electrical inspectors will be looking for 9540. And although I have to say in my experience, because all this is new technology, a lot of them are not up to speed. So it’s really incumbent on us to guide them. And it’s, that’s the big challenge is trying to get them to understand what they’re looking for. And, you know, if the this day apply the same standards to portable power generators, they would find that they’re kind of in the same situation because they don’t understand what the standards are. And what you’ll find out is a lot of the diesel generators are not listed, so but they’ve been around for so long. They’re just kind of accepted, but those are really the biggest challenges, did we it is shown.

Kevin Sturmer 26:59
And there was something we talked about the National Electric Code article 520.10. Does that ring a bell from the? Yeah, yeah.

Richard Cadena 27:07
Yeah. So part of the issue along Lollapalooza was that elected inspector pointed out that the enclosure was not weatherized. And I try and politely as I could. I brought up article 520.10 in Article 520.10 says that it’s okay to use equipment that is not first wrapped or used as long as it’s supervised by qualified personnel. While it’s synergized, and it’s buried from the general public, we met all that criteria. However, the Inspector said, we don’t go by National Electrical Code. And I said, Well, what do you go by? So we go by Chicago Code. And I said, Well, isn’t there something in Chicago code that is similar to that? And the answer was, “I dodn’t know.” Much. Later, after the fact, after the event was over, I went and looked it up. And turns out, of course, the Chicago Code is based on the National Electric Code, they’re not going to reinvent the wheel, they’re not going to rewrite that the entire code so they take the NEC, and they modify it, they adapt it, and they can add to it or take away something. But in the end, yes, Chicago Code also has the exact same verbiage with the exact same article it is 520.10. And it says the exact same thing. So you know, that’s just something that you typically encounter in festivals like this when you have gear that is not listed for outdoor use. However, your thing that makes it safe is that people like Sean and Neel are always there with you don’t abandon, we’re there to keep people away. And also it is behind the is backstage. So the general public is going to just wander by and stick the finger the tongue in the socket. So that’s really what makes it saf.

Tim Doling 28:57
Yeah, well, it was question for you originally, there seems to me to be some contradiction between standards. 9540 A says anything over 50 kilowatt hours, needs to have full 9540a testing. And then when I go over to NFPA 855, it says anything over 20 kilowatt hours. That’s half full 9540a and 9540 testing. So how do you reconcile the standards and get everybody on the same page when there’s certain amount of confusion there?

Richard Cadena 29:22
Yeah, well, ultimately, it’s up to the authority having jurisdiction or the AHJ and the code is there’s lots of contradictions in the code. And it just depends on how its interpreted. And this is part of why there is a lot of effort right now to clarify these issues. There are, I know, at least two or three different efforts you treating – ESTA, the entertainment Services Technology Association. The association is is looking at writing a recommended practice the reuse of energy storage systems. and these are the kinds of things that will clarify those questions, because there’s still questions. Nobody knows the answer shape. It’s questions and what you.

Tim Doling 30:09
Yes, that’s interesting. And my follow up question to that is, okay, so if I have to get approval on something over 50 kilowatt hours? What if I just limit the size of my power bank to 50 kilowatt hours and have multiple of them on one site? Do I still have to get approval? Or is it about a certain navigating that requirement? So I guess there’s no real answer to that unless you have any thoughts

Neel Vasavada 30:29
The answer? Well, I think one of the answers is, you need to speak, you need to find out what the regulator is, and speak with them ahead of time. So we actually dealt with this last weekend in Texas at an event and what was interesting is that that fire marshal said 20 kilowatt hours max, and they have to be three feet apart. Whereas the ul 9540a, so we had batteries that were in steel cabinets that were UL 9540a. Now let’s be clear, there was nothing special about these cabinets, except that the manufacturer had gotten them UL listed, there was a very simple stamp steel piece. But there were 20 kilowatt hours, the cabinet’s usually on 36 kilowatt hours, take out two batteries, put multiple cabinets three feet apart, it’s done. Now here’s the thing is that that 20 kilowatt hour mat mattered to that fire inspector, but the UL 9540 full system compliance didn’t. So at the end of the day, it’s actually I would caution against just trying to follow the regulation, because you don’t know which part they are going to ask for? Well, I think the best thing to do is to familiarize yourself with NFPA, and UL regulations, and go on they’re knowledgeable with, you know what they’ll let you do and what they won’t.

Tim Doling 31:53
That’s so interesting. And the thing that gets me on 9540a, it’s not a pass or fail criteria is a test method. And they give you an evaluation at the end of it saying, if it does catch fire, this is what you can expect. So it’s really a guide, but for the fire departments what to do if there’s a problem, rather than actually a safety certificate for a piece of equipment. So I think there’s a lot of confusion there.

Neel Vasavada 32:15
Well, Tim, they didn’t use it like that, because the the that spacing requirement, that three foot spacing requirement, the fire marshal, let us know that after they had seen the 9540a. So so they do take information from that test data and use it to guide us. But you’re right, it is not a pass fail.

Sean Jacobs 32:35
I think also the 9540 system is it really came about for things that are attached to a building and live there permanently. So in case something happens, the building does not burn down. But in a temporary application where we’re out in some remote field somewhere, it’s kind of irrelevant, as long as the system is away from people. And if it does, God forbid, catch fire and some crazy situation, which we all know is nearly impossible with LFP batteries, lithium iron phosphate, then it’s like maybe the 9540 actually, as a system doesn’t matter. And the regulations and rules need to understand the purpose of things. And that’s going to be that’s gonna be an issue moving forward, for sure. For event space. For temporary generator replacements

Tim Doling 33:24
Sorry, just the final point I was going to make was that temporary mobile generators are not covered by the same regulations as permanent installed generators on a building. And that’s how they get around a lot of these requirements on a on an event or a job site. Whereas the same is not holding true for the your regulations for batteries. So we’re held to a much different standard. So I think there’s going to be a period of time where we look into this and it becomes aligned with what the other standards are for generators. So I’m hoping that comes up.

Neel Vasavada 33:54
This is where culture kind of creeps into it again, guess what’s not on any of the generators, and we have gone and looked what’s not on any of the generators at the concert sites, we’re

Tim Doling 34:05
There’s no UL marks.

Neel Vasavada 34:06
I mean, we’re talking, there is nothing. And I looked into a bit more and it’s questionable whether these things are UL listed in the first place because they have to be UL listed in that mobile application. And when there’s modifications or anything done, they lose the UL listing. And I gotta tell you, man, I’m very skeptical if a lot if not the majority of temporary generators out there coming from large rental companies are actually UL compliant the way that you know, a lot of the fire inspectors are assuming they are.

Tim Doling 34:37
Yeah, they use that mobile exemption if it’s a temporary mobile generator, it doesn’t need to be UL listed is the assumption they’re taking. So whilst I don’t necessarily disagree with it, it does bug me that we have to follow the rules but nobody else does.

Neel Vasavada 34:50
So what happens when NFPA 80 requires it to be UL 9540a Does that exemption? You know I don’t think the exemption crosses over between standard agency So there’s you know, now we got all we got other problems.

Richard Cadena 35:04
Yeah, well, the way to resolve the problems is people need to go people in this industry, you go and get on the the code NFPA code writing, and write the code which should be in yet deadly fires a lot of time energy sources. And a lot of times it’s done by a) the manufacturers and companies that are using it a lot.

Kevin Sturmer 35:30
Richard, can you talk a little bit more about that? I just wanted to also mention on this entire topic of temporary power and live events. Richard, you’ve written an article that’s coming out this spring in Protocol magazine. It’s called “Shadow, Light, and Truth: Standards for Battery Energy Storage Systems.” But can you go a little deeper on that, you know, somebody who wants to go ahead and write a new code or get something into the system, what’s the process? Do they form a committee? How does this all come to be?

Richard Cadena 35:59
Yeah, sure. So there’s a couple of different ways to do that. One is to get on to code pen, code writing panel for the NFPA 70, which is the National Electrical Code, and you go to these meetings, and you basically, you know, you write drafts, say, the modifying the code, the way you see fit, and it goes through our community. And, you know, they kind of guide the code the way they think it should read, you know, people like Steve Terry, from ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls). and have been doing that for years. Allen Rowe, used to be president of local 720, sorry, 728 (IATSE) in in Burbank, and a couple of other people that [sic], have spent a lot of time rewriting the article 530, which is slow motion picture television studios in some locations. And they do that because the code get after a while it gets out of date, and what needs to be updated. And it hasn’t been that way for a long time hasn’t been updated in a long time. So they just were the 2024 edition, I think it is they they rewrote article 530 as a potential story. And then another way to do it is to go through the Entertainment Services Technology Assocciation or ESTA, they are in ANSI writing the ANSI standard. Body. So all the codes they write on since they write become American National Standards Institute standards. And so what happens is acute go and volunteer for that you write a standard, you can write, for example, recommended practice for battery energy storage systems, and it becomes an ANSI standard. And that’s something that will then be wrestling just by the NFPA 70 to help guide them in writing their company. So those are the two ways that I know how to shape how the code is, is is written and how it’s adapting how it’s enforced.

Kevin Sturmer 38:16
Wonderful. And thank you so much. And it’s sort of we wind down here. What’s next for everybody on the panel? What’s coming up for overdrive. What’s next for you, Richard? What’s coming up?

Neel Vasavada 38:25
For OverDrive, we’re doing more and bigger shows. So just stay tuned. We just finished SXSW, the largest sustainable energy activation they’ve ever had. That’s a pretty major American music industry and tech industry event. We just did the second Luck reunion. We just confirmed Google IO, which is their one of their largest corporate events. And there’s gonna be a lot more so. Yeah, we’re excited.

Tim Doling 38:55
You mentioned Luck. So that’s a repeat business or repeat event. So it’s obviously working well for the customer.

Neel Vasavada 39:01
Tim, every single client that we worked with last year so far, who is having the event again, as assets come back?

Tim Doling 39:08
That’s fantastic.

Neel Vasavada 39:09
So hopefully. Yeah, it makes it a lot. It’s it’s, it’s definitely validated. Yeah.

Richard Cadena 39:16
And and Sean and Neel will mostly at South By, SXSW I was mostly at Luck. And I’ll tell you this year is so much easier because knew exactly what to expect. We knew what the load you’re going to be. We knew that the runtimes you’re going to be and it would have been so much easier this year than last that you asked me what I get. I’m up to I’m gonna go work with Overdrive Energy Solutions at Google IO. But I’m also working on fourth edition of my book, which is Electricity for Entertainment Electricians and Technicians. And guess what it’s going to have some information about battery energy storage system in it.

Kevin Sturmer 39:50
Thank you so much. And where can people find you online? What’s What’s the website?

Neel Vasavada 39:54
Our website is www.overdrive.rocks. Look up Overdrive Energy Solutions on your favorite social media network. You can find us there.

Kevin Sturmer 40:04
And Richard, where can people go to find more information about you and what you’re doing?

Richard Cadena 40:08
Yeah, so my website is APTXL.com. And by the way, I do have some training classes coming up in Atlanta and in Dallas and some other locations.

Kevin Sturmer 40:19
Fantastic and as we wrap up, we usually end the episodes with some questions for Tim. So we’re just one question today, as it relates to temporary storage, when you’re renting a battery energy storage system for a live event, or really any application, what are the of the pieces of information that someone might want to know, before starting the rental process?

Tim Doling 40:42
Kevin, I feel bad can answer that question with the professionals on the phone today. For me, it would be knowing the load profile, knowing how long you can run it for having that equipment less like Richard referred to earlier. But we do understand that’s not always possible to get. So having your best guess, at what equipment is on there. So Sean, or Richard or Neel, any of you three could chime in on that one.

Richard Cadena 41:03
You know, communication is the key, get in early, get as much information as you can. That yeah, so you can know your loads and your run times, then your golden.

Sean Jacobs 41:13
Also any any supplemental power that’s available, is nice to know whether you have a generator, whether you have solar, or whether you even have some grid power, and you can throttle it down, if if your load is bigger than what the grid can sustain.

Kevin Sturmer 41:26
And that makes a lot of sense, get some real world data that you can work toward, or at least set some sort of benchmark. And with that, I want to say thank you, and what whatever platform you’re on, if you’re listening, hit the like button, hit the subscribe button. Leave a review, if you can do all of those good things. If you want to learn more about the podcast, head over to LeadingTheCharge and.io We’ll have show notes here links for everybody, all of our guests. And the people in legal team want me to say that any statements or views expressed by the hosts or guests on leading the charge, are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of POWR2 their partners or affiliates. Thank you everyone for your time. It has been really great talking to you.

Richard Cadena 42:12
Thanks for having us.

Sean Jacobs 42:13

Tim Doling 42:14
Thanks, guys so much. Appreciate it.

Kevin Sturmer 42:15
Thank you so much. And finally, I know that your time is valuable, and we appreciate you spending even a little bit of that time with us. So let’s simplify sustainability and keep leading the charge toward a world powered by sustainable energy. See you next time.

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