The diesel generator is getting competition from mobile aggregates that are powered by electricity from the grid, liquid gas, or hydrogen. Productions such as SWR’s Tatort and Die Rosenheim-Cops tested a hybrid power generator which was developed by Polyma Energiesysteme. This accumulator can supply 100 kW of power for larger productions all day long. The 3.5 ton power package stores the electricity in lithium batteries and is mounted on a trailer.
Designed as a hybrid accumulator to supply power for the base of a small film production, the huge aggregate comes with lead-acid batteries and it provides a continuous output of 40 kW. Letterbox Filmproduktion is using this accumulator, which is also mounted on a trailer, for shooting the ZDF series Notruf Hafenkante. The aggregate can be charged at any 16 A or 36 A three-phase electric power outlet. If more power is required on set, then the battery can be recharged with a generator.
This solution is more efficient than using a traditional diesel generator because the unused power will be stored in the battery. When using a diesel generator, a large part of the power fizzles out if only a few smart phones are charged. “The hybrid solution with this highly efficient electric power generation system can cut carbon emissions by fifty percent”, says Moritz Kromer, whose company Mobilespace rents out both.
A hybrid power generator that operates in battery storage, LPG gas generator, and photovoltaic modes is being developed by the Cologne-based film equipment rental house Maier Bros. The MB-Filmhybrid 100 performs as well as a 100 kVA diesel generator. Up to loads of 12 kW, the power supply is delivered solely by battery. If a higher load is required, the LPG-powered generator automatically kicks in. The vehicle’s engine is also powered by liquid gas, so it tanks up with only one kind of fuel. This vehicle doesn’t require a special driver’s license as may be needed for a trailer in Germany.
Meanwhile, the company TVO Schuster has developed a mobile hybrid generator that can be powered by liquefied petroleum gas as well as by petrol. The gas aggregator with an effective output of 75 kVA and 60 kW was presented to the Rosenheim Cops team. “On location, we need a backup in case there is no energy from the grid”, says Tessa Frank, Green Consultant at Bavaria Fiction. TVO will present the first prototype of the LPG/petrol hybrid aggregator with a MAN TGL 8.180 as running gear in spring 2020.
Trailer-mounted gas-powered generators are exported by the Italian company Green Power Systems to 90 different countries. “Our gensets can be tanked up with LPG or CNG”, says Stefano Filippini, Sales Manager at Green Power Systems. “The gas generators have lower emissions, they are less noisy than diesel generators, and they have a lower operating cost because the price of LPG is about half that of diesel.”
Zero-emission gensets that generate electricity in a fuel cell are being developed in the framework of the EU-funded Everywh2ere project. The first eight prototypes that perform at 25 kW and 100 kW have been announced for 2020. The gensets can be tanked up with green hydrogen from renewables. While a European hydrogen strategy is being developed in Brussels, Hamburg wants to build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyzer with a 100 megawatt output capacity.
“The time for half-measures and climate denial is over. Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations. If we’re going to avoid the worst of the impacts, then we’ve just got to act boldly. And we must act immediately."
Actor, Director, Producer, Environmentalist
"The media has a powerful role to play in the fight against climate change. Through films, television, and all media outlets, we must continue to deliver the message that solutions are out there and are happening now. We have to make it attractive for people to take action. Movies like Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and documentaries like Years of Living Dangerously, which I was proud to be a part of, have been very popular, reaching and inspiring millions of people. And I believe films in particular can really inspire and make people want to take action. It’s great to see some of my film-industry friends working with climate related organizations to push forward those messages."
„It‘s high time to reorganize film production in Germany in a ‚greener‘ and more sustainable way. So far, I am flabbergasted by how much our industry works in environmentally harmful ways.To this very day, it starts with until today one-sided print-outs of scripts, and then it continues with plastic bottles in production offices and lots of plastic waste with every catered meal, and it doesn‘t stop with the limousines that pull up to a red carpet.
For many years, people have sneered at me when I brought my own cup or I declined to eat cheap meat served on paper or plastic plates with plastic knives and forks. It would be great if the Green Shooting Card could change all that.“
Director (Ben X, Time of My Life)
„It’s absolutely great that filmmakers all over the world are trying to clean up their act, and are trying to film as sustainable as we possibly can. Still, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the incredible power of the moving image to also change the hearts and minds of people.
So, apart from trying to be more environmentally aware in our business, I think the big gain lies in how we might make everyone more environmentally aware. Yes, cinema can change the world.
I think filmmakers should start using the powerful weapon in our hands that is the camera.
Let’s not only try to do ‘less bad’. Let’s try to do right, and help drive the change that we all know needs to arrive.“
“We are living in a time in which we can’t afford to behave irresponsibly towards nature. The more important is it that film productions try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. A film team produces every day tons of garbage. I try to avoid using plastic cups on set, I bring my own cup, use ecofriendly cosmetics and avoid needless single rides.”
Photo ® Maddalena Arosio
Darren Aronofsky, Director, Noah / Jury President, 65th Berlin International Film Festival
“When we did Noah we knew we were making a film about the first steward of the earth, so we wanted to be good stewards ourselves. There’s so much waste on film sets. Because of groups like Earth Angel, we were able to change that a little bit.”
"As a TV and film producer I try to incorporate environmental storylines into my projects as much as possible. But it’s just as important, if not more, to ‚go green‘ behind the scenes! Therefore, I help run the Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative.
We provide resources such as a Best Practices and a Carbon Calculator to help producers green their productions. We also partnered with all the major studios to create www.greenproductionguide.com which is a free green vendor database with over 2,000 vendors offering sustainable production solutions worldwide!"
Producer, Director and Visual Effects Supervisor (2001: A Space Odysee, Blade Runner)
"Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts is dedicated to being green as much as possible, including the use of LED lighting, solar power, and solar laptops. This is not just because our location has limited amperage and no three-phase, we believe we have a responsibility to our community and our planet to be a clean industry.
We are planning for digital photography in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second from remote and inaccessible locations that will not have available power. Solar is the way to go."
Dieter Kosslick, Director Berlin International Film Festival
„The Berlinale is already actively addressing the sustainability subject since years. We appreciate it very much that a growing number of filmmakers, among them this year‘s jury presiden Darren Aranofsky, is following green guidelines on set.“
Director of Photography (A Most Wanted Man)
‘I never have been told precisely what the rules are for shooting a green movie, but we are trying to do it. This is something new for me. Sometimes people overlight scenes at night. I don’t. If I can see with my own eyes, then it is enough for the film. In that sense I am a green DoP.’
Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons who stars in the Berlinale Competition entry The Night Train To Lisbon is a fan of source segregated recycling. „Especially in Germany you have done a lot for that. You are examplary in the matter of waste separation.“
The Hollywood actor travelled around the world to promote the environmntal documentary feature film Trashed by Candida Brady which deals with the global garbage problem: „We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it“, says Brady. „With Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.“
Since the world premiere at the International Cannes Film Festival in 2012 Trashed picked up various nominations and awards at international festivals.
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