Application StoriesDrivesIssue 51 2024ProductVariable Speed Drives

VFDs Keep the Good Times Pumping

This resort site uses AutomationDirect VFDs to control waterpark systems, in the process adding the capability to manage and upgrade their own equipment.

When the Triple R Camping Resort enhanced their facility to include a waterpark with interactive water features, they also needed to upgrade some behind-the-scenes elements, such as pumps, and the VFDs controlling them. John Tinelli, the owner of the attraction, wrote an article for Sep 2023 titled Fun in the Sun, Courtesy of Variable Frequency Drives & Resourceful Maintenance Staff, where he recounts how the initial installation and ongoing support proceeded.

Keeping the Fun Under Control

The LeeKee Lagoon at the resort includes water cannons, water curtains, a tipping bucket, and a multi-lane racing slide, in addition to a pool and hot tub. An ultraviolet water purification system, and other filtration equipment, are also part of the mix. When this equipment was added, it was decided that the best approach would be to use two 7.5 horsepower pumps to operate it, instead of many separate smaller pumps, to maintain the proper pressure under all operating scenarios.

VFDs That Go with the Flow

To accomplish this coordination, the site engaged a systems integrator (SI) to design and configure the VFD-driven motor controls. One key concern was the location of the resort is in a rural area with no access to three-phase utility power. To address this issue, the team selected AutomationDirect DURApulse GS4 VFDs, which are capable of using a single-phase power input to create the three-phase output needed for common industrial motors.

Protecting the system from mechanical and thermal stresses is essential, so the VFDs were configured with ramp times, which serve to extend pump life and minimize any “water hammer” as downstream valves shift position.

The system was designed for the pumps, and therefore the VFDs, to operate in parallel, using a single proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control loop. The goal of the PID is to maintain consistent water pressure throughout the system. One VFD is the lead, and it communicates to the second VFD using a serial protocol. This ensures both VFDs operate cooperatively. If each VFD used its own PID loop, they would fight each other, and control would be unstable.

The system ran as designed, but soon after being put into service a pipe burst in the control room. Due to the timing, the Triple R maintenance team needed to put things back in order themselves. Although they had not worked on VFDs before, they were able to quickly contact AutomationDirect for the technical support they needed, and to order the necessary replacements, in this case a slightly oversized drive. The first call was on a Monday morning, and the parts were installed, configured, and running by Wednesday morning.

Triple R is happy with the performance, price, and ease-of-use provided by AutomationDirect equipment, and they plan to continue using the company’s products in the future. Visit the website today to explore how VFDs, sensors, controllers, and a wide variety of other products can help you automate and support your operations.

All figures courtesy of Triple R Camping Resort