When one of the UK’s leading universities decided to create a remarkable new water cascading fountain feature, the Midlands red brick institution turned to specialist water feature company Tills Innovations for its expertise.
The new 70 metre, multi-cascade fountain feature, which includes a large pool fountain display, is a focal point in a project to rejuvenate a hillside approach to the university’s Student Union building.
“Such an installation is no simple undertaking,” says Mike Tillett, Director of Tills Innovations. “In addition to custom-made parts, the whole water feature required a bespoke control system to run the animation. This includes no fewer than seven feature pumps, two filter pumps, various water top up valves, chemical dosing, and lighting.
“So it was vitally important that we chose our suppliers very carefully. We needed a partner who could provide the products we needed, as well as the technical support that was critical to the project’s success.
After reviewing options in the marketplace, Tills Innovations settled on Golden Coast. The company is the UK’s leading independent distributor to the wet leisure industry. But it’s not just its market-leading product range which makes them the contractor’s favourite… the company has exceptional technical knowledge to back it up, too.
This is thanks in part to Golden Coast’s in-house electromechanical guru, Andy James MISPE. A familiar voice to those phoning Golden Coast for technical support, Andy is an approved electrician by trade and has more than 45 years’ experience looking after all electrical aspects of water and wastewater treatment.
Importantly, this includes the design and program of control systems for commercial and domestic applications, as well as the building of bespoke control panels to meet exact customer requirements.
His skills were exactly what was required…
Not just swimming pools
For nearly a decade, Golden Coast has been involved in the specification and creation of custom control panels across a range of applications: from private spas to sports centres.
Created in-house, these sophisticated control panels can monitor and adjust a range of components, including: filter pumps, booster pumps, feature pumps, blower, heater, lights, run timers, purge timers. Full customisation options allow clients to include automatic chemical dosing, and a range of interfaces to adjust commonly used elements (i.e. heater, lights, etc.) manually or remotely.
Customisation options don’t stop there: Golden Coast will even brand the controller with the installer’s logo and contact details, ensuring that they’re first in line for ongoing maintenance or upkeep tasks.
Crucially, however complex the systems themselves are, they are designed to be easily installed and operated.
Andy and his team worked closely with Tills to design and produce a custom control panel, perfectly suited to the application requirements.
Built around a Unitronics integrated OPLC (Output Power Level Controller) Golden Coast’s bespoke control system features a full colour 10.4” touchscreen and allows for both local and remote control – perfect for daily monitoring by university facilities staff.
Andy said: “We built the controller on Unilogic software, which is both intuitive and easy to use, which helps speed up the programming stage.
“This was quite a sophisticated fountain installation and, with the University monitoring for issues, it was important that the system be easy to use and any alarms easily understood.”
The system has two control kiosks: one at each end of the water feature. While the top one features a main touch screen and a 3G/4G GPRS router for remote access, the remote I/O in the bottom panel was configured using the EX RC1 remote adaptor from the Vision range, along with digital and analogue I/O units.
Because the control panels utilise the Unitronics version of CANbus, communication between the panels is exceptionally quick and efficient.
View from afar
To give further accessibility during the onsite commissioning and to support the client in the future, a remote monitoring system was fitted. This enables Tills or Golden Coast to remotely access the system to make adjustments and review the operation of the fountains.
Importantly, the client can now log in and review the operation without actually having to visit site. This allows operators to ensure – remotely – efficient servicing and operation of the water feature.
A job well done
The project was a huge success and, today, the ambitious fountain feature is enjoyed by hundreds of students, faculty staff and visitors every day.
Mike Tillett, Director of Tills Innovations, said: “This project was a huge undertaking, and it would not have been possible without the substantial expert knowledge and support we received from Golden Coast. I wouldn’t hesitate to collaborate with them on such a project again in the future.”
Andy concluded: “This is what Golden Coast’s technical staff do best. We constantly monitor and adjust our way of working to ensure that our customers have the most up-to-date products and control systems at competitive prices with strong technical support.”