All about design of water feature fountains
When a fountain is of a dynamic kind, as it usually happens with dry fountains, it needs a control system to manage water features, lighting and sound (in Waterboy), as well as the synchronization between all these features. Read More
The chosen system is determined not only by the Waterboy model used in the dry fountain, but also by other features:
In order to correctly manage these features in dry fountains, there are two types of technology resulting in two respective control systems. Now we will take a closer look to them.
The acronym PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller. The PLC is an electronic device whose internal memory stores a program or sequence designed to automate a process. Where ornamental fountains are concerned, the stored issue is the cyclical sequence that manages all the hydraulic elements of the fountain – pumps, electro-valves, frequency converters, etc.
These systems are very stable and safe elements: this is the reason why they are widely used in industry. The popularization of these elements has made them quite cost-effective, and with the trace of time they are providing an increasingly better performance. SAFE RAIN uses these control devices in fountains with a number not too high of elements to be managed, or in installations where the synchronization with outer elements is not very demanding.
The control panels made by SAFE RAIN with this technology leave the factory fully adapted to each client’s particular fountain. In order to achieve this, the technicians of SAFE RAIN and the client will have met before to define how the latter wishes the fountain to work. When the client receives the panel, the only thing to be done is to connect the elements to the panel’s terminal block and to switch it on.
The PLC control system manages all the lighting features: on/off, color and intensity (when possible). There are three possibilities:
It must be remarked that the PLC is not able to synchronize water features and lighting, or to make two subsequent light and water cycles coincide in time. To achieve synchronization, first it is necessary to adjust carefully each field’s programmed sequences.
The less amiable feature of these devices is programming. That is, the necessity of defining an output sequence for all the elements of the ornamental fountain. PLC manufacturers provide communication software with the devices, but their programming requires the services of a specialized technician. Similarly, the modification of this sequence (if it does not meet the fountain’s exact requirements) must be done by qualified staff. In order to prevent this inconvenience, a certain technology has been developed so a non-specialized user can program all the fountain’s elements, including the frequency converters. This technology is called HMI.
This name is given to a last-generation development, created by SAFE RAIN and that significantly improves the performance of the PLC. This system includes a HMI or Human Machine Interface (a user-friendly touch screen) that makes it possible to modify the previously recorded sequence in a simple and rapid way. This means that the modification becomes accessible for non-specialized users who can do it through an intuitive touch screen. It is a very efficient system that goes far beyond the performance of the PLC by itself.