Voltis helps leisure park power up for 2011 season

As the UK tourist industry prepares for the start of the 2011 season, one attraction in Cornwall will be powering up safe in the knowledge that it is making the most efficient use of its electricity supply.

Last year Flambards in Helston, Cornwall, became the first UK leisure park to install the market-leading Voltis power optimisation system, reducing its energy use and carbon emissions by some 18%.

The leisure park, which covers a 26-acre site and can cater for up to 8,000 visitors, opted to install Voltis in response to growing power needs – as it added new rides and attractions its power requirements grew, 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, of Penryn, Cornwall, to install Voltis, the logic-controlled ‘intelligent’ voltage optimiser system from Marshall-Tufflex Energy Management. Lightwater calculated that annual kilowatt hours (kWh) would drop from 1,106,808 to 916,548, a saving of 190,260 kWh and almost 94 tonnes of carbon per annum. The optimiser also negated 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. “From motors to inverter drives and pumps, everything you could think of that Voltis would benefit, they have.”

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. Immediately it was switched on the system reduced amps 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.

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 leisure 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.”

Paul Morris, Flambards’ technical services manager, added: “We are extremely pleased with the proven savings we’ve made so far and with the continued forecast savings over the next 2-3 years, it will definitely show that the installation of the Voltis unit has been a prudent investment.”

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