At ExhibitorLive 2019, DS&L powered its entire 10 x 20 booth off of battery power – without recharging the batteries during the entire show. While batteries may not be the right solution for every booth or event here is some important information to know when considering the use of the battery and just how far this technology has advanced.
Great advancements have recently been made in rechargeable battery technology, as evidenced in the increasing popularity of battery powered vehicles in recent years. Some of this same technology is now being applied to battery packs for the exhibits, special events and other markets. DS&L has teamed up with the most talented group of portable battery developers, Joule Case, to help bring this technology to our industry.
What do I need to consider determining the amount and type of battery that I need?
- Do I want sealed lead acid or lithium ion battery technology? Both exist and can be used, are safe when used properly, but there are differences.
- Sealed lead acid is easier to ship and costs less – but weighs more and is less powerful than its lithium ion counterpart.
- Lithium Ion is lighter weight and more powerful than sealed lead acid, but has shipping restrictions, is not accepted in all convention centers, may have certain use limitations and is more costly.
- How much battery power do I need? You need to talk this over with your battery provider. A good battery partner will help to size an appropriate system that meets your needs. To do so, they will need to know the total amount of wattage you are looking to power, for how many hours per day you want the equipment to run and over how many days you want the equipment to run without recharging the units. For ExhibitorLive 2019, DS&L calculated how many watts of power it would be using, made sure it had enough power for 3 days of extended show hours and sized the battery power it needed appropriately. As a result, DS&L ran an entire booth without recharging any batteries over the 3 days of the show.
Should Exhibit Houses own batteries and create a rental income stream?
Powering an entire booth off of battery may or may not be the answer. The availability to provide battery in places where it may be difficult or costly to bring electricity is definitely a big plus now. Exhibit houses can certainly add a rental income stream by owning and renting battery systems. Owners of exhibit houses may also be interested in available federal tax credits for units purchased with solar recharging panels – but they will need to consult with their tax advisors to receive professional advice on this.
Pop up, small corporate events or retail kiosks can also benefit from the use of this battery technology. Batteries provide a means to deliver power in places where it used to be complicated, if not impossible. Own it and you too can drive revenue from it.
Battery power vs cost to order electric at site.
From our view of the cost of electricity and electricians on show site, investing in battery power tends to have its payback around the 4th show, depending on the amount of power and electrical services one typically purchases for a show. This needs to be analyzed on a case by case basis.
Is there a Green story to be told here?
Using battery power certainly has a positive impact on one’s carbon footprint. For indoor shows, certainly using less electricity reduces one’s carbon footprint.
For outdoor shows, replacing generators with batteries that are rechargeable by solar panels cuts down on the use of fossil fuels used by generators and eliminates the noise and smell associated with generators as well. This is definitely a positive impact on the carbon footprint used at such events.
Of course, safety of such products is critical. All components used in our battery systems meet applicable UL standards. Testing to achieve an appropriate safety listing of these products is currently underway.
Facts and Figures:
- Size and Weight: 9.8” x 13.8” x 3”. The control module weighs around 10 lbs., the small battery packs weigh around 25 lbs.
- Shipping? Sealed Lead Acid system is no problem shipping any way you want. Lithium Ion requires a special label.
- Can I ship charged units? Yes, you can ship fully charged
- How many ports to plug in to? 3-line voltage outlets on each control module and 2 USB ports. You can plug a multi outlet power strip into the control module to gain additional outlets.
- Are there different sized/power units? Yes, different sized control modules and battery packs are available depending on the power requirements needed.
- What if I need to recharge a unit and I am overseas? Like any other electronic device, an adapter for international applications (country appropriate) will be needed to re-charge.