• Fundamental Power

Facilities: Theme Park Case Study

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

In many cases, sophisticated power equipment is not set to run “as-is” after installation and proper commissioning and troubleshooting can be needed to get equipment operating properly. 


Theme parks are constantly in search of new and intense thrill rides, and with this often comes even greater power requirements.  In this case study, Acacia’s simulation work determined a ride’s reactive power requirement was too great and necessitated a static var compensator (i.e. real-time var compensation) to keep the ride from creating excessive voltage flicker across the power distribution system.   After installation, Acacia monitored the equipment to ensure it was providing the specified vars within the specified time response.  Due to the fast load and unload profile of the ride, the static var needed to operate in an open-loop control mode, matching var for var to create a net unity power factor load.  During commissioning it was discovered the response was inadequate and the source inverter modules were producing excessive harmonics.  Vendor investigation uncovered a need for significant updates in the controls and logic.  Unfortunately, that initial update caused a failure in the static var which blew all fuses on the input.  Powerlens™ real-time captured waveforms of the fault allowing the vendor’s engineer to quickly determine the problem’s source and implement an effective solution.


Figure 1. Static var compensator response (Q SVC) to load var demand (Q Lift).

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