Tech Focus

Tech Focus: Dynacord Ghost Power

Problem-solving audio technology for power outages.
ProSoundWeb

The Challenge:
Modern professional audio power amplifiers have little in common with their predecessors of just a few years ago. They are now equipped with built-in DSP, microcontrollers, digital interfaces and displays. This means that the amplifier has to “boot up” in the same way as a computer. Boot times vary between manufacturers and can easily reach 30 seconds or more.

While this isn’t usually an issue during the initial sound system start up, it could pose a problem if a power outage occurs – especially if the PA system is used as a backup for mass notification during emergencies, when every second counts.

The Solution:
A unique feature of Dynacord IPX series amplifiers, Ghost Power resolves the issue by overcoming reboot issues that could occur during a short-term power outage or a transition to a secondary power source, ensuring the amplifiers have sufficient power supply to maintain DSP through generator startup. IPX achieves this without the need for expensive UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) systems or non-network components.

How It Works:

A microcontroller in the amplifier permanently monitors the mains power situation and, if an outage occurs, the voltage rail supply for the amp’s power stage and the output stages is immediately deactivated and the audio signal stops. The energy stored in the rail supply is instantly transferred to an auxiliary power supply. See figure one above.

This stored energy is used to maintain operational DSP and network control for a guaranteed minimum of 15 seconds (50% reserve), eliminating the need for a full reboot prior to restoring audio output. Once the mains power source is restored, the rail supply resumes and audio output continues within three to four seconds. See figure two above.

The Benefits:

Performance audio systems offer superior intelligibility and clarity, and are specified for entertainment, BGM, etc. across a wide range of venues, including convention centers, fitness chains, hotels and resorts, sports and performing arts venues, large retail stores and shopping malls, large houses of worship, and more. For AV consultants and integrators, Ghost Power technology can add considerable value to performance audio system designs for installation alongside dedicated EVAC systems.

For example, though a venue’s main EVAC system will normally have an adequate battery backup and/or UPS, Ghost Power allows an IPX-powered PA system to serve (if required) as a secondary EVAC system in addition to the primary EVAC system, in compliance with locally applicable codes (e.g. NFPA 70) and standards (e.g., UL 2572). By ensuring the sound system doesn’t go down, Ghost Power technology can prevent a heavy investment in UPS hardware, as would be required for similar amplifier systems.

Power outages can also be an issue in live sound applications, where a few seconds can feel like hours. Ghost Power is a problem-solver here too, ensuring the show goes on without a major interruption.

Dynacord IPX series

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