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Inverters drive a hole in one at Italian golf course

Inverters drive a hole in one at Italian golf course

An Italian golf course has greater control in the irrigation its greens thanks to the introduction of variable frequency drive technology, with reduced water usage and lower energy costs.

Located in north eastern Italy, Lignano Golf Club offers a par 72 golf course designed by the famous architect Marco Croze. with a 70 hectare site that caters for all technical levels. Lignano is also the location of international competitions including the Italian Women's Open in 1993-94, the PGA’s Champions Trophy of Europe in 2008, and the Alps Tour, Servizitalia Open in 2012 and 2015.

The 18 hole course is characterised by long fairways, large greens and wide areas of natural sand, and is designed to fit perfectly between the areas of water and the lush greenery of the pine forest for a varied and exciting game.

Historically, the underground irrigation system for the 70 hectare course had relied on a single 110kW pump, driven by a 110kW drive. But this meant the whole course had to be watered even if green-keepers needed only to target specific areas. So the club turned to Invertek Drives Italia for a solution that would greater flexibility, and which would also reduce water usage and associated costs.

“If the existing pump or drive was out of service the whole system would be inoperable, leaving the course without any irrigation,” said Mauro Grassivaro of Invertek Drives Italia. “It was using excessive amounts of water and the single pump was placed under significant strain as a result.”

Four Optidrive Eco IP55 variable frequency drives were introduced as part of the solution, using Invertek’s Optiflow multi-pump control technology. They control four 18.5kW pumps targeting zoned areas of the course. Optiflow technology allows more than one drive working together to ensure optimised efficiency. One drive is the master and the other three are slaves. The master controls and commands the slaves with their speed and run times. It also ensures that if one or more drives is out of service, the remaining available drives take control of the pumping requirements, ensuring continued irrigation.

There is also no need for external PLCs or other controlling devices as the whole program is implemented on the Eco drives.

“The system can also detect low pressure, such as a leak in the system, blockages and dry run protection, ensuring the motors are not placed under stress, reducing maintenance or replacement costs. The new system means the club can have a targeted approach to irrigation, cutting water usage and reducing costs overall,” added Alessandro Venier, sales engineer at Siei Peterlongo, Invertek’s sales partner in Italy.

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