Roskilde Festival: Sustainable energy for greener festival

Monday 06 Jul 15

In future, a local smart grid will provide sustainable solar power to parts of Roskilde Festival.

Roskilde Festival consumes large volumes of power—especially during certain hours of the day. Therefore, Roskilde Festival has rented big generators to produce the amount of energy exceeding the capacity of the local power grid. The rental expenses amount to approx. DKK 2 million, which the festival would rather be without.

This has prompted a number of DTU students to carry out projects examining the possibility of creating a local smart grid at Roskilde Festival—a solar-based power grid to serve as a supplement to the regular power grid that the festival uses today.

A large solar panel generates power, which is stored in an electric car. The electric car is designed to both receive and supply power to the power grid. This makes it possible to use the electric car as a battery which is charged during the day and capable of powering the grid—even when the sun is not shining.

"The festival doesn’t consume much power in daylight. But this is the perfect time to use solar cells," says Andreas Thingvad, BEng student in Electrical Engineering.

The system is currently powering the DTU TechLab, and despite it being a matter of very limited volumes, Andreas underlines that there is no reason not to apply a similar system in other areas of the festival, such as stalls and stages.

"The current system has the capacity to supply 43 kilowatts, which is almost enough to power a stage."
Andreas Thingvad, BEng student

"The current system has the capacity to supply 43 kilowatts, which is almost enough to power a stage. So it’s just a question of ensuring a sufficient level of power production during the day. We need more efficient solar cells and more cars. And if a generator running on used frying oil is furthermore connected to the system, it will certainly be possible," he says and continues:

"Of course this is a major investment, but so is keeping diesel generators running year after year."

The project also includes an interactive installation with four lighting chains indicating the direction in which the power flows. This would also allow the festival participant to control the power flow by, for instance, connecting a fan heater.