Carlo Gavazzi meters energy at Pinewood Studios

Carlo Gavazzi, meter, sub-meter

Carlo Gavazzi panel-mounted energy meters have been installed in a major upgrade of electrical supply and distribution system within the studio complex at Pinewood Studios — resulting in improved billing accuracy and day-by-day load management.

The TV and movie business is power-hungry. With stages covering around 26 000 m², the Pinewood Studios complex in Buckinghamshire has a massive appetite for electrical energy.

There is also an on-going commitment to reducing environmental impact throughout the worldwide Pinewood Group. It buys all its electricity through a ‘green tariff’, and electricity consumption is matched by generating an equal amount of renewable energy, which is fed back into the National Grid. At Pinewood itself, this is supplemented by new solar photovoltaic installations.

For these reasons, Pinewood initiated a programme of improvements to its electrical distribution infrastructure, with new switchboards commissioned to boost the power and high-voltage capacity of larger stages. Increasing a stage’s capability from 800 to 4800 A, for example, reduces the need for auxiliary generator sets instead using the mains power supply with its Green tariff.

Switchboard specifications were developed in collaboration with panel manufacturer Underwoods Engineered Products, which has supplied Pinewood for a number of years. Pinewood’s requirement for fiscal billing and sub-metering meant was met by EM26-96 meters from Carlo Gavazzi.

Pinewood needs to charge its clients accurately for the energy they use; and these 96x96 DIN panel meters comply with the EU Measuring Instruments Directive requirements. With labels and seals fitted, the meters are fully MID certified, so they meet all EU national metering approvals pertaining to electricity meters, such as Ofgem in the UK. Pinewood had previously retrofitted the EM26 meter to existing panels, so there are the additional benefits of interchangeability and compatibility.

The meters’ pulse outputs are sent to the studios’ recently implemented automatic meter reading (AMR) system. The AMR system records energy usage on Pinewood stages and has proved invaluable in resolving issues over electricity charges.

According to Stuart Toole, electrical projects manager for the Pinewood Group: ‘Clients have become used to getting lower energy bills from us, so if consumption has been unusually high we can identify anomalies in the AMR records.

‘For example, we can identify when studio lights have been left on inadvertently or kettles switched on out-of-hours. It’s completely transparent, and MID compliance guarantees accuracy for everyone involved.

‘Having comprehensive measurements contributes to reducing technical problems on-set. The clear voltage and current readings on the EM26 display can help lighting gaffers manage their power load more effectively.

‘All in-all, the Carlo Gavazzi energy meters help us manage our power network more effectively. We can offer better availability, higher power capacity and lower costs for our clients. Film, TV and games producers also enjoy the “green” angle and we are more than happy to help them out.’

For more information on this story, click here: May 2014, 136
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