Solar Powered Event Sucess

Did you know that Auckland, New Zealand‘s Music in Parks 2023 summer season of events the audio was run entirely with solar panels and batteries?
There were no smelly generators on-site this year. A complete all-in-one turn-key solution was provided for the stage, power, backline and sound system, and there was no need to hire any additional power solutions.

The Rock Factory Production provided this alternative power solution for 18 gigs this summer, and there were no power hitches!

This coming year we are planning to go a step further and also kit up our truck and trailer with solar panels, and also our office premises so that even when charging batteries when we need to, we are using solar power!
We know the power grid in Auckland is running off 85% renewable energy, but next year we want our solution to be running off 100% renewable energy.
Thank you to the organisers of #musicinparks and to #aucklandcouncil for giving our eco solution a go!
Solar Panels being set up at an outdoor event, to power audio equipment.

Running the numbers

Back in January Auckland Councils Music in Parks posted on facebook about one of the gigs the Rock Factory provided solar panels for.

A commenter mentioned that they were skeptical that their was enough power on-site to run lighting amps and speakers, and asked for more information.

Music in Parks clarified that Solar was a huge part of the outdoor day time events, and a big part of the night time events, but that in some cases a secondary power source was required to run lighting at nights.

Music in Parks commented that the Rock Factory’s batteries store enough power to run the amps, speakers, control desk, and that each battery is still left with charge at the end of the day.

Michelle and Mark pitched in about the power of solar with some technical details, as follows:

Michelle: “The solar panels were topping up around 400 watts when the sun was at full blast.  So we actually only used 30% of the battery power by the end of the day.  There was still 70% left, so theoretically we could have run twice as long, or run a system twice as big.”

Mark: “The main unit ended on 71% actually.  The 5 hour show used about 4000 watts in total.  We brought in about 8500 stored in the batteries, about 1500 was generated by solar of the single panel.  I could run up to 3 panels if I wanted to generate more solar, but I need plenty of storage incase it’s a cloudy day.”

By now (in June), the Rock Factory have done 20 solar powered events over summer with 100% reliability.  They have also used their system of battery to rescue an event when a a mains power outage occurred.

The largest shows the Rock Factory ran on Solar this summer, had 3000 audience members.  They were Auckland Music in the Parks Kiwi Anthems, with Don McGlashan and Midge Marsden, and also Opera in the Park.

Solar Event Case Study - Kiwi Anthems


The Auckland Council Music in Parks Kiwi Anthem event, was an outdoor event planned for 3000 audience members.  

This short case study covers The Rock Factory’s use of Solar Power and Batteries to power the events audio.

Power Management Strategy:

Traditionally, outdoor events without access to mains power, are powered by diesel generators.  These generate fumes and noise and significantly contribute to the carbon emissions of the event.  The Rock Factory devised a power management strategy for audio equipment, that utilised batteries and solar power.

For this event the Rock Factory considered the duration of the event, and the draw of the equipment when run at a sufficient volume for an audience size of 3000 in an outdoor environment.  

Solar Power and Battery Considerations:

Solar power alone would be at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions,.  Using pre-charged batteries would be essential.  In New Zealand, 82%+ of our electricity is from renewable resources. So when there are unfavourable weather conditions for solar charging, it is still better to charge batteries from mains power and use solar power as a top-up during the event. Rather than relying on traditional diesel generators.

Battery Specifications:

The Rock Factory used for six solar rechargeable batteries, each with a 3.6kWh capacity. These batteries provided a continuous draw capability of 11.5KW, with a peak draw of up to 23KW. This battery setup was designed to meet the event’s power requirements and leave a reserve charge of 40%,.

Power Consumption and Event Success:

The highest peak draw seen on the day was only 5.5KW, leaving plenty of headroom.  There was more than 40% charge left on the batteries at the end of the event.  The Rock Factory successfully met the power requirements, ensuring a great event enjoyed by the audience.


Solar power and rechargeable batteries are an excellent option for powering the audio needs of an event.  This set-up can be an effective alternative to diesel generators.

Wondering how to run an event using solar power?

If you are wanting to run an event using solar power, your best place to start is by talking to The Rock Factory.

We have done all the calculations and figured out how to effectively use solar power for great sound reinforcement at an outdoor event.  

Our considerations for a solar powered event include:

  • How much power the sound system, amps, instruments, and desks will draw 
  • Duration of the event
  • Time of day and season
  • Starting with full batteries in case of cloud cover
  • Optimal solar panel positioning
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