adjs

Good day to you!

I saw that their was a generator thread already. If this needs to be moved please let me know.

A few questions about the topic.

  • Can you use two generators to power one full system?
  • Do the generators have to be identical and able to be synced?
  • Can you use two separate stand-alone generators? Why or why not?
  • Is it more advisable to get one large generator vs. two smaller ones?
  • What is a rule of thumb when calculating how much generator power is required?
  • Grounding required? (I've had a few shows on concrete)
  • What generators does bassboss recommend, if any? ( various system configurations, nothing main stage festival size) 

Any other information would be excellent. I find that after going into the information, people end up contradicting one another and at the end of everything I'm back to not knowing anything.

Looking forward,
Aaron W

  • 2 powered passive ZV28s
  • 2 powered ZV28s
  • 2 DV12s
  • 2 DV8s
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jeffl
I am going to take a stab at this question.  I am sure that others will disagree with what I am about to say, as it is a matter of best practices and depending on reasoning what is "best" varies depending on the hat one is wearing.

I would like to know, did you have a scenario in mind or is this a random off the cuff question because the answer may change depending on your scenario.

Your question of can you power a system off of two generators, I would have to say that yes you can.  But I am also going to say why would you?  You have a inadvertently created another point of failure.  But I have two you say, that's an extra point of backup right? Wrong.  A backup generator waiting to be used and not in use is a backup.

If there is a variance in ground potential from one generator to another, you will have power running through your ground connection between your devices.  That nice audio console you love so dearly won't like that.  You will have to bond your generator grounds together to make this work.  And you very well still may have interference between devices.  I can also imagine, depending on the size of your requirements how much of a nightmare this could become to ensure you're working on power cables while they are powered off if one generator is still running.  Your local ESA will not be impressed when they come to check your setup.  And really, they are the one who gets to say "all ok" or "you're going to have to shut this event down."
Also, if it is a matter of a single generator isn't enough power than you are risking your equipment on too small of a generator. 
A larger generator is much more efficient and is more capable of handling the power needs of the power hungry bass end. And that portable hot tub that helps with those sore muscles after a long day.

But, if you are talking about running a total of eight speakers as your list implies you aren't talking about a whole lot of power being consumed anyways.  You will most likely not be running any of these speakers at full rated power.  Just a few watts of audio power is really all that is needed again depending on your scenario.
My suggestion then, is obviously, get a generator that is powerful enough to supply all your needs and have a buffer in it as well so you aren't running it on maximum.  Think about it like this, your vehicle is most likely capable of traveling much faster than you normally travel at.  It allows you to safely change lanes and pass safely when needed.  Imagine the fuel consumption running it at top speed all the time.  There's a reason you will find the run time specs of a generator is at half rated load or quarter rated load.
In summary, I'm going to point form my thoughts for your questions:

  • Can you use two generators to power one full system?
Yes, but the problems you can create will be more detrimental that beneficial when interfacing devices powered by two sources.
  • Do the generators have to be identical and able to be synced?
It would have to be a large generator at this point having the ability to properly sync with each other, this would still not resolve ground issues unless the two are synced and fed through the same mains power distro.  You have dropped a lot of coin for this, but have a very nice generator with integrated backup and load balancing abilities.
  • Can you use two separate stand-alone generators? Why or why not?
Yes, but again, it looks bad, it sounds bad.  Two generators running is a lot of extra noise, extra power cables, double the space, double the weight, more problematic...
  • Is it more advisable to get one large generator vs. two smaller ones?
I would definitely suggest a single generator that is capable of running all your devices within a safe buffer.
  • What is a rule of thumb when calculating how much generator power is required?
Different people will tell you different things.  Like I said a bigger more powerful generator is much more efficient especially when it is diesel powered.  Please consult your local electrician & generator manufacturer for load bearing abilities of their different models.
  • Grounding required? (I've had a few shows on concrete)
Your ESA will have your head if it isn't grounded.  And on concrete you say, well, that will reduce your power requirements using this very reflective half space.
  • What generators does bassboss recommend, if any? ( various system configurations, nothing main stage festival size)
I'm going to leave this as it is, as I have already said too much. lol  The 64KW one we used to rent revved up and down with the bass beat, we now rent a 100KW and it just keeps purring, and consumes less fuel over the five days we use it for than the smaller one did.

I hope someone else chimes in here.  I'd like to hear other opinions.
I'd also like to own two ZV28s, but that is definitely another topic for another thread.

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