The Power of Mardi Gras

The world famous Rio Carnival is a four-night event that requires more than 8 megawatts of rental power. As big as the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras combined, the centerpiece of the event is a nightly parade through the Sambodrome—an entertainment venue the size of eight football fields—in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

12/01/2002


The world famous Rio Carnival is a four-night event that requires more than 8 megawatts of rental power. As big as the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras combined, the centerpiece of the event is a nightly parade through the Sambodrome—an entertainment venue the size of eight football fields—in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Up to eight samba schools—a total of 5,000 samba dancers—compete for awards, each trying to outdo the others with electrified floats, dancing, costumes and lighting effects. Rental generators ranging in power from 11 kW to 500 kW are required for the floats, computerized lighting shows, sound systems, equipment, sponsor parties, and radio and television coverage.

The supplier of this year's rental power was already doing a brisk business in the region because of power shortages in Brazil. For the Rio Carnival, some 27 generators were set up in five locations, running 18 to 20 hours per day for four straight days. Testing of the generators and lighting took place after midnight during the week prior to the events so as not to attract large crowds of people.

From Pure Power, Winter 2002





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