- BuildingDesign News - Construction / Services News Archives

Article Date: 16th November 2020

Danfoss Drives - Surf’s Up Every Day – Thanks to Danfoss Drives!

Danfoss Drives Surf's Up

Called in by Twinwoods Adventure to help solve reliability problems on its popular FlowRider indoor surfing attraction, K2 Drives and Controls of Watford had no hesitation in recommending the installation of two new Danfoss VLT® variable speed drives. With the recommendation accepted and the new drives installed, the FlowRider is working reliably and efficiently, much to the delight of Twinwoods customers who can now be confident of enjoying the thrills of surfing safely and reliably.

The FlowRider is among the most popular of the water-based attractions at the Twinwoods Adventure multi-activity adventure site near Bedford. That is no surprise, as it allows users to ride a flowboard and experience the pleasures of “catching a wave” without having to worry about the weather, the tides and the conditions of the surf. For its operation, the attraction relies on two 110 kW pumps that circulate water to create a 10-metre-wide perpetual sheet wave across the surface of a tough but flexible membrane.

The FlowRider has been in service for 15 years and for most of this time it has operated well. By early 2018, however, the variable speed drives controlling the pumps were starting to become unreliable, leading to downtime that disappointed Twinwoods customers and cost the company revenue. For help with addressing this problem, Twinwoods called on the services of drive expert and Danfoss Service Partner, K2 Drives and Controls.

An investigation carried out by engineers from K2 Drives quickly revealed multiple problems with the existing drives. They were near the end of their working lives, so faults were becoming more and more frequent. In addition, they were obsolete types that were no longer supported by the manufacturer and spares were, in many cases, proprietary items that were virtually unobtainable. The engineers therefore recommended that the most straightforward and cost-effective solution would be to discard the old drives and fit modern replacements.

“We suggested fitting two new 110 kW Danfoss VLT® FC102 drives,” said Andy Godwin, Service Contracts Executive at K2 Drives. “As a company, we’ve had a lot of experience with these drives, so we know that they’re exceptionally reliable, energy efficient and easy to set up. We also knew that they had much better dynamic performance than the old drives at Twinwoods, so they would provide more accurate and stable control over the water flow in the FlowRider, giving users a smoother and more enjoyable surfing experience.”

Twinwoods readily agreed to the fitting of the new drives, but there were conditions: the work had to be carried out as soon as possible because of the frequent faults on the existing drives and, once it was started, it had to be completed in the minimum possible time, as having an important attraction out of service for refurbishment would inevitably result in fewer people visiting the site, with a consequent loss of income.

Since K2 Drives is an official distributor for Danfoss Drives products, the company knew that delivery on the new drives would present no problems but to make further time savings, the engineers from K2 Drives decided against fitting a replacement control panel. Instead they opted to gut the existing panel, removing the old drives and their ancillaries, thoroughly cleaning the enclosure, and installing the new drives.

“The modern Danfoss VLT® FC-102 drives are very compact, so we had plenty of room to fit them in the space vacated by their predecessors,” said Andy Godwin. “And, because they’re so efficient, they generate very little heat during operation, which meant that we knew there would be no problems with cooling. All of this made installing the new drives a fast and problem-free task.”

Thanks to their intuitive user interface, the new drives were also easy to set up and fine tune for optimum pump control. An additional benefit was the wide range of interface options supported which made them easy to connect with the existing controls and supervisory systems at the Twinwoods site.

Because of the approach adopted and because Danfoss VLT® FC-102 drives are so convenient to work with, K2 Drives was able to complete the project within 2 weeks of receiving an order, and the FlowRider attraction was kept in normal working service while the replacement drives were being installed and commissioned in normal down time. The new drives have now been in service for two months and, in addition to operating faultlessly, it is confidently expected that they will ultimately save Twinwoods money on its energy bills thanks to their high efficiency and the accurate responsive control they make possible.

BuildingDesign Media © - BuildingDesign Portal | BuildingDesign Tenders