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Can a Mack Powersplash be run without water?

Cascade

New Member
I know it sounds weird, but is it possible to ride Mack Powersplash without water?
We're getting one next year but I think the water will freeze in winter.
Is the LSM launch fin can make the vehicle slow down even without the splashdown?
 
I don't have any info about it but I think it cant. Any ride that has been designed with water will usually not work without it. Just look at Griffon and Sheikra. And those coaster are less associated with a splash then a powersplash is.

Also why would you want to ride a powersplash without water? It doesn't really do anything without the water.
 
It runs without water until it's flooded so i dont see why not, it would probably take longer to stop without the water but should be able to

But is it programmed to do that?

Another question would be what happens if the splashpool flooding malfunctions? Will it by itself come to a stop in the correct place or will the ride ops have to evacuate it and call over maintence to reset the ride after the flooding is fixed?
 

oriolat2

Active Member
I am sure Mack have actually thought of worst-case scenarios. As VonRolland says, the ride is a shuttle coaster, so if the flooding section didn't work properly, then I guess the LSMs would just engage acting as brakes to bring the train to a stop.

I was also under the impression that Sheikra and Griffon could safely operate without the splash (I think I recall Sheikra testing without the water in the pond) but they never do with guests on. The water helps the coaster burn some speed and thus reduce maintenance costs since there is less friction with the final brakes.
 

VonRolland

Member
But is it programmed to do that?

Another question would be what happens if the splashpool flooding malfunctions? Will it by itself come to a stop in the correct place or will the ride ops have to evacuate it and call over maintence to reset the ride after the flooding is fixed?
From what a could see when I rode Pulsar the water trough is slightly below the water line so automatically fills the trough when the pumps are off, so if there was a power cut I imagine the splash section would auto fill and slow the train like an usual cycle
The LSM's on Pulsar actually slows the train during the usual ride cycle when it's coming to park & of course can launch or slow vehicles if required so it would slow/stop eventually
As for if the train stopped in the splash section it would probably be evacuated from the platforms either side of the track shown in the video below (1)

(1)
 

Hixee

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From what a could see when I rode Pulsar the water trough is slightly below the water line so automatically fills the trough when the pumps are off, so if there was a power cut I imagine the splash section would auto fill and slow the train like an usual cycle
This is correct - it can be seen quite clearly here (note in particular the pumps that start up to drain the splashdown once the train has passed through its final time):

Of course, the LSMs could also easily stop the train if they need to - I'm not quite sure why this would be up for debate.

However, I would expect that most places that have a serious risk of the water freezing will be too cold in the winter to be open, let alone running water rides.
 
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JoshC.

Active Member
Only tangentially related here, but before Pulsar first opened, it was said (I can't remember if by Mack, or by Walibi) that the trough can be filled in under 6 seconds, and drained and ready for a boat to pass for the first time (ie "normally") in about 50 seconds.

The video Hixee posted shows the filling time is around the 5-6 second mark, and the draining seems to be quicker. By the end of that video it's almost back to the pre-fill level, about 25 seconds after the train leaves the splash area.
 

Hyde

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Ahh this is so cool - failure design always fascinates me. Makes sense Mack has designed the system to ultimately cause the train to quickly stop, just the same way brakes are designed to default to the closed position, and only open when powered. :)
 
The short answer is it will not work without water in the channel.

The rides control system is expecting to see certain water levels at specific points during the ride cycle. If the reported level is not what the system is expecting then the ride shuts down with a fault displayed.

That being said, it is possible to fool the ride into thinking the water level is correct in order to make it run, but then you would end up with a boat that wouldn't stop like it's being expected to and would likely overshoot the motors, parking itself back in the splash area with no way to recover itself. However, just because something is possible doesn't mean it should be done. Particularly if it involves overriding safety critical features such as a significant ammount of braking power.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
The short answer is it will not work without water in the channel.

The rides control system is expecting to see certain water levels at specific points during the ride cycle. If the reported level is not what the system is expecting then the ride shuts down with a fault displayed.

That being said, it is possible to fool the ride into thinking the water level is correct in order to make it run, but then you would end up with a boat that wouldn't stop like it's being expected to and would likely overshoot the motors, parking itself back in the splash area with no way to recover itself. However, just because something is possible doesn't mean it should be done. Particularly if it involves overriding safety critical features such as a significant ammount of braking power.

Not sure if I'm just being dumb, but could they just not programme the ride to have two settings: one with a set water level, and one with no water?

Presumably it's not that simple, and would require extra equipment and a lot of extra hassle, but is there a reason why that couldn't be an option?
 
They could indeed have a dry mode added that basically ignores the water level and gate sensors and alters the overcurrent threshold and braking curve for the LSM's to allow for the drive having to provide all the braking power.

As far as extra equipment is concerned, the only thing that would need changing is how much energy the LSM system can handle in braking mode. The drive will either use a resistor grid to dissipate the energy as heat or a capacitor bank to store the energy for use on the next start up.
The system should be capable of providing a full motor only stop for safetys sake, but I doubt it would be capable of doing it every cycle.

If the drive is not set up to handle stopping a boat without the water doing most of the work, you would run into slight problems............. like fire ? and capacitors that want to become small nuclear weapons.

I'ts not impossible to do, I just don't think it's worth doing considering it's likely never to get used that way.
 

Crazycoaster

Active Member
I’m sure it’s a likely safety feature to have that all up and ready going?

If there is an issue while the ride is active and the water does not refill the trough, the LSMs will detect the extra speed, and react accordingly. If that isn’t already built into the system already I’ll eat my hat.
 

Howie

Active Member
But.... but.... Pulsar does work without water, of course it does, it does it on every single lap. The train passes through the channel 3 times without water, right? Backwards, forwards and backwards again. If, for whatever reason, the channel doesn't fill up with water in time for the fourth and final pass, then... well, what can you do about it at that point? Yes, the ride control system may recognise that the water level isn't what it should be, but without any brake fins on the far tower it won't be able to do anything about it, apart from maybe apply the actual brakes on the speed hump a bit harder so it doesn't overshoot the station. Even if it does overshoot the station, it would only start climbing the near tower and then roll back anyway, right?
Bottom line is... riders wouldn't get wet. End of. ?
 
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Hyde

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But.... but.... Pulsar does work without water
How I picture you saying this.

giphy.gif


They could indeed have a dry mode added that basically ignores the water level and gate sensors and alters the overcurrent threshold and braking curve for the LSM's to allow for the drive having to provide all the braking power.

As far as extra equipment is concerned, the only thing that would need changing is how much energy the LSM system can handle in braking mode. The drive will either use a resistor grid to dissipate the energy as heat or a capacitor bank to store the energy for use on the next start up.
The system should be capable of providing a full motor only stop for safetys sake, but I doubt it would be capable of doing it every cycle.

If the drive is not set up to handle stopping a boat without the water doing most of the work, you would run into slight problems............. like fire
?
and capacitors that want to become small nuclear weapons.

I'ts not impossible to do, I just don't think it's worth doing considering it's likely never to get used that way.
I had this convo with a co-worker and really didn't know how often energy storage tech is applied in amusement parks - is it common to use a capacitor for short-term energy storage with LSMs? Under the right operational conditions (and assuming you can crank enough operational cycles per hour), it could definitely be a cost efficient solution, but wasn't aware if that is the actual case.
 
But.... but.... Pulsar does work without water, of course it does, it does it on every single lap. The train passes through the channel 3 times without water, right? Backwards, forwards and backwards again. If, for whatever reason, the channel doesn't fill up with water in time for the fourth and final pass, then... well, what can you do about it at that point? Yes, the ride control system may recognise that the water level isn't what it should be, but without any brake fins on the far tower it won't be able to do anything about it, apart from maybe apply the actual brakes on the speed hump a bit harder so it doesn't overshoot the station. Even if it does overshoot the station, it would only start climbing the near tower and then roll back anyway, right?
Bottom line is... riders wouldn't get wet. End of. ?

You are correct, in order to start the ride, the system needs to see a low water level so that the boat can be chucked up the tower a couple of times.
The gates that control the water level would be set up so that if there is a failure, the water gets dumped back into the channel.

I had this convo with a co-worker and really didn't know how often energy storage tech is applied in amusement parks - is it common to use a capacitor for short-term energy storage with LSMs? Under the right operational conditions (and assuming you can crank enough operational cycles per hour), it could definitely be a cost efficient solution, but wasn't aware if that is the actual case.

Regenerative braking is becoming more common but is still less popular than resistive braking.


LSM's on coasters aren't really suited for regen braking because they are only ever used as a brake in an emergency as opposed to the station drives which are used to stop the train every cycle.
Next time you ride Colossus or Stealth (or pretty much any Intamin for that matter) pay attention to the station and you will notice a distinct lack of friction brakes. This is because every time the train slows down and stops in the station, the drives are using dynamic braking and sending the power to a resistor grid.
 

Hyde

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You are correct, in order to start the ride, the system needs to see a low water level so that the boat can be chucked up the tower a couple of times.
The gates that control the water level would be set up so that if there is a failure, the water gets dumped back into the channel.



Regenerative braking is becoming more common but is still less popular than resistive braking.


LSM's on coasters aren't really suited for regen braking because they are only ever used as a brake in an emergency as opposed to the station drives which are used to stop the train every cycle.
Next time you ride Colossus or Stealth (or pretty much any Intamin for that matter) pay attention to the station and you will notice a distinct lack of friction brakes. This is because every time the train slows down and stops in the station, the drives are using dynamic braking and sending the power to a resistor grid.
Or pretty much... any B&M
Helpful! Since I work with electric vehicles for a living, I deal with electric motors and regenerative braking all the time; definitely a fun moment where your profession jumps to your hobby!

When you say “resistor grid” - is this just a matter of dissipating the energy across the structure (essentially grounding current)?

granted, while regenerative braking can be a fairly good use of reusing wasted energy, fully recognize some of the limitations on general energy loss in the conversion, cost, and added wear/tear on the hardware as you pointed out Undead.
 

Gazza

Active Member
I would have thought Mack would have at least a dry maintenance mode where they can cycle it.
I'm sure if a customer requested the option to run it dry they would oblige, sort of like how you can get a Super splash with adjustable mag brakes to alter the amount of splash depending on the time of year.
 
When you say “resistor grid” - is this just a matter of dissipating the energy across the structure (essentially grounding current)?

Pretty much, it provides a load for the drive to work against and all the energy is bled off as heat.
In theory, any braking resistor can be replaced by a capacitor or battery to store a portion of that energy for later use. It is just a matter of wether or not it is worth the expense, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

Or pretty much... any B&M

Yup, in fact I think pretty much all manufacturers use a form of dynamic braking as opposed to friction braking these days.

I would have thought Mack would have at least a dry maintenance mode where they can cycle it.
I'm sure if a customer requested the option to run it dry they would oblige, sort of like how you can get a Super splash with adjustable mag brakes to alter the amount of splash depending on the time of year.

It is certainly possible Mack could have included it as an option. The only way to know for sure though is to go through the maintenance menus.
Personally though, from a maintenance perspective, I can't see how needing to run the ride with no water would be of benefit.
 
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