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Pixipixel unveils a load carrying hybrid generator

Feb 28, 2024

Pixipixel, the camera and lighting rental house with locations in London and Manchester, unveiled an industry-first load carrying hybrid generator at the BSC Expo 2024. 

At the heart of Pixipixel’s showcase was the debut of their 160kW hybrid, an 18-ton load carrying generator re-engineered to provide sustainable power on-location.

The hybridised generator has single-phase power outlets powered by a battery bank located within the load carrying area of the vehicle, these are supplemented by an HVO-fuelled generator. This dual-power system allows for flexible usage depending on the needs of the production, with the ability to draw power from the battery alone or seamlessly switch to the generator when additional power is required. Using the hybrid set means you can draw power from the 45kWH on-board battery, the 160kW HVO-fuelled generator, or both, for maximum power output of 205kW.

The hybrid generator features an intelligent switching capability, automatically activating the generator to recharge the battery when it is running low. The battery can also be recharged on set if mains power is available via a 32AMP single phase connector.

Steve Knight, managing director of Pixipixel, shared insights into the inspiration behind this initiative to kickstart the decarbonisation of Pixipixel’s fleet of generators:

“The idea stemmed from our observations on various television drama sets where large battery banks were hired in an effort to reduce production’s carbon footprint. These solutions can work when a production is in one place for an amount of time, but it often involves specialist lifting equipment, and an additional delivery via yet more diesel-fuelled vehicles.  This together with a separate generator to charge the battery bank (also not mobile) just didn’t seem a slick solution for a fast-moving location-based TV drama or film.”

“So, we worked on a solution with Baari Ismail, our technical manager for generators, designed this efficient 3-in-1 solution integrating the battery bank, generator & load carrying space for the kit in a single, mobile, sustainable hybrid.”

Pixipixel’s hybrid generator offers a more sustainable alternative to on-location power generation and aims to meet the needs of Film & TV productions striving to reduce their carbon footprint by transitioning away from traditional diesel generators. A pressing issue within the industry, diesel fuel has been identified as a major carbon footprint contributor, accounting for about half of productions’ emissions. 

“Just like a hybrid car, our hybrid generator works on a similar principle. As a load carrying set, it’s a first in our industry, a game-changer. We hope this will proof to be a sustainability success story for TV & Film productions. So far, we’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from gaffers, DOPs and sustainability coordinators at the BSC Expo” says Knight.

Pixipixel is an Albert Sustainable Supplier and a Makers & Shakers Sustainability Award Finalist recognised for showing a consciousness to make a difference by implementing strategies positively impacting the environment.

 The rental house is leading the way as a low carbon supplier. Pixipixel was the first independent camera and lighting rental facility in the UK to adopt HVO fuel for its fleet of vehicles and generators. This switch resulted in reducing the climate impact of its fuel consumption by 87% and successfully slashed a staggering 130 tonnes of carbon emissions in just one year.

After the switch to HVO fuel, this upgrade to hybrid marks another major step towards reducing the company’s carbon footprint. It paves the way for more clean and green solutions on production sets in times when reducing carbon footprint is becoming increasingly more important.

Additional technical information about the hybrid generator, including dimensions and power outlets, is available online at pixipixel.com.  

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