Flambards experiences the power revolution of Voltis

The installation of the market-leading Voltis power optimisation system from Marshall Tufflex Energy Management Ltd into a UK theme park has delivered immediate and impressive results for the business.

The Flambards Experience, in Helston, Cornwall, covers a 27 acre site and boasts a range of activities for all ages, from its unique Victorian Village to ultra-modern theme park rides and its own theatre. At full capacity it caters for up to 8,000 people at any one time.

As the park has developed, with more rides and attractions added, so its power requirements have grown, to the point where engineers were considering the costly installation of an on-site high voltage sub-station to ensure energy requirements could be met at all times.

However, a proposal was put forward by energy consultant Lightwater Environmental – already on site to improve the efficiency of Flambards’ lighting systems – to install the Voltis Intelligent power saving system from Marshall Tufflex Energy Management in order to reduce electricity bills and negate the need for the sub-station.

“Flambards has every conceivable piece of electrical equipment you can imagine,” said Mike Tomlinson, sales director of Lightwater Environmental, based in Penryn, Cornwall. “From motors to inverter drives and pumps, everything you could think of that Voltis would benefit, they have. We looked at their annual electricity readings and bills, did meter readings to gauge what power they were pulling and from there put forward a proposal for reducing their overall power bills by up to 18%. We were confident enough of the figures to guarantee this return.”

Initial concerns about reduction in ride motor speeds were allayed by Lightwater Environmental, as Mr Tomlinson explained: “We took a smaller Voltis unit down to site and carried out tests on two of Flambards’ major rides. For the first ride it was imperative that the motor driving a hydraulic system maintained its revolutions per minute. For the second test we needed to check that a computer controlled inverter did not suffer a drop in power. Voltis passed both tests with flying colours and indicated that energy savings of 18% were indeed achievable.”

The 1200Amp Voltis system was installed over a weekend and, importantly, did not cause any interruption to the parks normal operations. Immediately it was switched on the system reduced amps being drawn from 1000 to 708. A successful full site test was then initiated, with every ride and attraction, plus lights, sound, heating and PA system, operated for two hours in order to give Voltis a rigorous workout.

Flambards took advantage of the Carbon Trust 0% loan scheme to fund the Voltis installation. The park expects to reduce its electricity bill substantially, allowing the investment to pay for itself in under four years. Lightwater Environmental has calculated that Voltis will save almost 94 tonnes of carbon per annum for Flambards.

Paul Morris, Flambards’ technical services manager, said the diversity, complexity and amount of equipment served by Voltis at the theme park formed a blueprint for other businesses thinking about installing the system: “Investing in Voltis was a big decision but we are one very happy customer. Hopefully our experience should give other firms considering power optimisation the confidence to press ahead.”

Voltis Business Manager Jeremy Dodge said: “Our installation at Flambards is a brilliant demonstration of what can be achieved with the system, given the range and large number of high power devices it is controlling. Not only has Voltis dramatically improved the environmental footprint of the theme park, it is delivering much lower power bills and has saved the business the expense of installing its own sub-station. It’s a win-win situation.”

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