Residents of the United Kingdom have not been able to escape the floods that have affected the region over the past few years. One caravan park, situated on the south coast of England decided to take an innovative and proactive approach to flood management. Recognising the threat that flood water could have on its business, the management of the Warner Farm Touring Park approached Arun Electrical, a Parker Hannifin SSD drives products customer, to provide a cutting edge pumping system to minimise the threat of flooding.
After significant flood damage during 2013, Warner Farm set itself the challenge of pumping water swiftly and efficiently from the grounds to protect customers and the grounds themselves. The concept is based on a series of interconnected ponds and pools on site. The water drains into the first pool and is then pumped into the second, then third and so on, eventually being returned to the sea. Parker Hannifin was asked to provide an interconnected and intelligent drive system to control the pumping process. The Parker AC30 variable speed drive is at the very heart of the system.
AC30 has been designed to provide users with exceptional levels of control for pump applications, whilst being both flexible and modular in design.
The system controls water levels via an internal PID controller. The user sets the desired water level for each of the pools, ensuring that the set level will allow for efficient natural drainage. If the water rises above the pre-set levels then the pump will work faster, and if below, slower, ensuring that the water levels remain within the safe pre-set boundaries. The system can also be programmed to take into account seasonal variations in water levels allowing the user to specify pre-set values for summer and winter.
The communication capabilities of the AC30 give users a real-time system overview right in the palm of their hand. The drives can be programmed to send out a series of SMS messages via a low-cost modem to the mobile phones of maintenance personnel should certain predetermined events occur. Specific text messages will be sent in the instance of pumping being initiated by the drive, power failure, RCD trip (stating exactly what caused the trip), water level change, pump stall, or any of a number of other pre-determined triggers. This gives maintenance teams the ability not only to monitor the system, but also take immediate corrective action when required.
Controlling the motor via a variable speed drive in this application also gives benefits in terms of efficiency. The VSD matches system demands by matching the workload of the motor to the pumping requirements, keeping running costs to a minimum, and reducing energy wastage. The drives are installed in fully outdoor rated enclosures and, unlike many other drives in this class, the AC30 also has a conformal coating for harsh environment protection (3C3 as standard with 3C4 for hydrogen sulphide as an option).
“The AC30 offers significant advantages over other drives in this class,” stated Dave Kemp of Arun Electrical. “The inbuilt software and programmability negates the need for a PLC. What’s more the functionality was exactly what was needed in this application. The technical support team at Parker were able to listen to our requirements and support us in building a customised system.”
Commissioned in December 2013 the installation had a real opportunity to prove its merit during some of the worst weather the UK has experienced on record. Due to the system’s effectiveness, the team at the park identified other potential risk areas and have added more pumping stations to safeguard the site.
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