Technical Power Budget

What is a technical power budget?

A technical power budget is an electrical power distribution plan that is tailored to meet the power needs of a facility where technical power is to be supplied. There are two basic questions to answer in order to create an effective and realistic technical power budget.

First, how much power is required to handle the anticipated power needs of the facility? Second, how many separate ac systems are required to provide power where needed?

The second question is easy. Decide first if it is practical or desired to hard wire the AC power in the room(s) where technical power is needed. If yes, the answer is probably one. If the facility is huge or spread out making it difficult to route power to all areas from a single location, more than one system may be the most practical approach.

If it is determined that more than one system is needed, calculate each area (referred to herein as “task area”) for a separate system. The systems may consist of any combination of rack or wall cabinet models or if the facility is exceptionally large, an engineered AC distribution system with a large isolation transformer is likely the proper course to consider.

To determine the amount of power required for a task area (or entire facility), fill out all of the attached lists and add up all of the equipment for each voltage used (typically 120 volts and sometimes 230 volts — i.e. European locations). Once the net load (in amps) is determined, multiply that number by the appropriate voltage to get volt-amperes (VA). Electrical systems are rated in size by KVA. All Equi=Tech system model numbers and isolation transformers correspond to power output capacity in KVA.

A separate system is required for each voltage. Often this a single 120 Volt system.

An additional system is required for each UPS because UPS outputs are unbalanced. The only exception to this rule is where a single large UPS is used to cover an entire facility. In this instance, one equally large balanced power system is connected to the UPS output. This is the simplest way to cover all bases.

In new construction, a wall-cabinet style Symmetrical Power System is the most economical in many cases because it is simple to install and it completely blankets a studio or production facility. But, there are other options that may better suit the specific needs of the studio. Pre-existing facilities may be difficult to rewire making it hard to install a centralized wall-cabinet system.

Rack-mount systems can be used anywhere and are an easy way to retrofit an existing facility with balanced ac. The physical placement of the equipment in a room or in a group of rooms is a major factor in determining how many rack-mount ac systems to use and where. For example, 3 side-by-side equipment racks in a machine room could be powered by one rack system with enough capacity to run all three racks. A 24-track tape machine with rack-mount Dolby™ units could be considered a “roll-around task area” by itself. The same could be said about a roll-around effects rack. The amount of power needed in a task area determines the size of the system for that area. Once one has determined how many task areas exist and how many systems are needed, proceed to calculate the required power for each area’s system.