Expert article
Edit 02 November 2021
by Javier Leiva UIA Expert

Counting cars for powering with AIRQON; how many do I need?

AIRQON powering Rooie Zondag Breda event
AIRQON powering Rooie Zondag Breda event
An event organizer may have heard about AIRQON but, what about taking a step forward and considering using it? AIRQON, apart from being a sustainable solution for greener events, and based on previous wide experience, presents the benefit of saving costs: it is estimated that electricity from a diesel generator may cost 1 euro per kWh, while using AIRQON may lead to save up to 50 euro cents per kWh. This is a potential saving of 50%! Then, is not this interesting for powering an event?
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Are you interested in knowing more about how the use of this crowd powered source is planned? Regarding reliability, it should be noted that AIRQON can be used in combination with buffer batteries, thus decoupling it from direct discharge of the cars. This allow to use different cars as power sources, sequentially, at the same time it ensures that power can be supplied without interruptions. Anyway, AIRQON lets bring the power directly from the electric car as well, delivering it directly to the loads without intermediate elements.

All this sounds good, however, is there any disadvantage? If you want to use it in your event, it needs some attention, of course. In addition to this, it requires reserved parking spaces or some effort to provide information about it to visitors (prior to the event and during it) in order to reach potential participants. Nevertheless, the AIRQON consortium is here to help; they can manage all technical details, handle the connection of the cars, organize the traffic to get to the right place in order to participate in the solution, etc. Of course, if needed, AIRQON can be perfectly coordinated with the rest of energy agents providing any other power supply for the event. And, if improbably something goes wrong, insurances are foreseen to cover any eventual incident. Safety first!

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“We have already done a lot of events, of any nature and size, so we can help very well. We can lead the action, in close coordination with event organizers and their service providers. In this way, AIRQON can be smoothly integrated within the rest of energy solutions of any event”

Tom Rozendal, Breda Municipality

AIRQON definitively can fit any event! But the community is essential to make it work. How should visitors be rewarded to foster their participation? Some ideas proposed by AIRQON are:

  • offering free parking or free tickets;

  • allowing backstage access;

  • giving souvenirs;

  • a small present, etc.

In short, anything likely to contribute to engage the electric car user and to reinforce their commitment. Indeed, they can act as ambassadors of AIRQON, not only taking part eventually, but also staying tuned for upcoming events and contributing to spread the word.

Becoming AIRQON ambassador will give you the best job in town (Source: airqon.eu)
Becoming AIRQON ambassador will give you the best job in town (Source: airqon.eu)

Powering with electric cars

The initial question to be addressed is how much power is really needed for an event. This is especially hard to be answered by event organizers not familiarized with energy planning issues. And even those used to electricity parameters may tend to oversize their power needs estimations, unnecessarily, just in case.

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“Exceeding power may lead to a false sense of security. Having a huge remaining power is not needed to properly supply an event, it does not matter its size or its nature. At the end, unnecessary power is a cost that can be cut, apart from its environmental implications”

Sven van Rooijen, ZAP Concepts

Once energy needs are determined, the key question for AIRQON arises: how many cars are needed? Determining the nature and size of an event allows to forecast it. To help answer that question, AIRQON provides an effective tool: a calculator able to set the exact number of cars required for the power supply of any event. With it, it can be easily estimated the maximum power consumption (in kW) and total energy demanded (in kWh). Having this information clear, and by comparing it with the capacity of the suitable electric cars, the AIRQON calculator then gives the number of electric cars required.

Step 1: characterizing your event

Accessing to https://airqon.zapp.energy/, some general information about your event is requested, as an initial step to prepare the rest of the calculations. Since AIRQON has been developed to be suitable for any type of event, the calculator has been designed to be usable by promoters and professionals of the event sector, but also by small, eventual organizers. According to this, the tool let choose birthday parties, neighborhood parties, fairs, food truck festivals and music festivals. In addition to this, it has been included a generic category to reach any other kind of event.

Step 1 in AIRQON calculator filled with an example of general information of an event
Step 1 in AIRQON calculator filled with an example of general information of an event

The number of attendees and the surface area of the event needs to be informed as well, in addition to contact information of the promoter, such as telephone or email. The maximum figures able to be considered by this calculator are 10,000 visitors and 10,000 m2 of area. It must be noted that, obviously, in the case of big events, the results of the calculation will not be provided directly through the web calculator, but the AIRQON consortium will contact the requestors directly in order to inform them personally and respond their needs in the most convenient way.

Step 1 in AIRQON calculator filled with an example of a small event: a fair (braderie, in Dutch) expecting 150 attendees and with a surface of 2,500 m2

 

Step 2: setting up your needs

The tool has a friendly web interface that let anyone set up their energy needs. The requestor can easily select common power uses, which are displayed here according to the type of event previously indicated in Step 1. For instance, in the case of a fair, these categories are listed:

  • audio equipment;

  • baking and roasting;

  • outdoor toys and entertainment;

  • computers and peripherals;

  • drinks;

  • sound amplifiers and speakers;

  • food processors and mixers;

  • fridges and freezers;

  • coffee and tea;

  • microwave and oven;

  • music players;

  • smartphone and tablets;

  • lighting & heating.

Within each of them, a wide variety of specific elements can be found. It must be noted that this database is under continuous development, day by day growing in the number of elements, which is now around 3,000!

Therefore, a list of devices to be powered is made by simply dragging and dropping them. In addition to this, the estimated time of use of each device has to be indicated. If daytime is selected, 5 hours of operation are considered in the calculation, while 7 hours in the case of nighttime.

Step 2 in AIRQON calculator with a list of selected devices to be powered in an example of small event
Step 2 in AIRQON calculator with a list of selected devices to be powered in an example of small event 

At the end, behind all this, the backend of the web calculator takes all the related data into consideration to make the appropriate calculations. To do this, it considers not only the instantaneous demand of those devices – what leads to establish the maximum power requirements of the event –, but also the energy needed to keep everything running without interruptions all over the time the event is programmed.

Step 3: calculating and applying

Based on the selected products, the tool informs about the number of electric cars expected to be needed to appropriately power the event. Obviously, the calculation is approximate, having that the reference car model is a Nissan Leaf equipped with a 30 kWh battery and a power output of 4 kW.

The web calculator lets requestors send their information to AIRQON without obligation. This allows AIRQON to contact them and go deeper in the calculations, also considering the available electric car models and resizing the estimation if needed. This direct interaction among AIRQON and promoters is even more important in the case of big events, with a high number of attendees or intensive energetic needs.

Step 3 in AIRQON calculator with an estimation of 2 electric cars needed to power an example of small event
Step 3 in AIRQON calculator with an estimation of 2 electric cars needed to power an example of small event

What’s next?

Event organizers can easily share the output provided by the calculator with their target public. To do this, they can use means such as their social media channels or public event calendars, to cite some examples, according to their communication needs.

The AIRQON calculator is evolving, as indicated before, incorporating new elements and, of course, their characteristic technical data. In particular, energy consumption of every new device has to be measured, so the theoretical demand data provided by the device manufacturer is not just directly registered in the database, but it is effectively checked. This ensures that the calculations will be as accurate as possible.

Finally, in the future, the tool may consider the possibility to select different electric car models likely to participate in the solution, taking advantage of the latest progresses made by several manufacturers in bidirectional applications.

In conclusion, the AIRQON calculator is an ideal tool not only for expert promoters, helping them not to oversize, but also for non-initiated organizers, assisting them in quantifying their energy requirements. At the same time, the tool relates energy needs and electric cars in an illustrative, intuitive manner. All this significantly may contribute to the dissemination and generalization of the AIRQON solution.

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