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Power Supply

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I remember reading that when Cedar Point was installing Wicked Twister, a special dedicated power line had to be run from the mainland to the park - just for the new ride. The ride was installed near the front of the park, almost on the beach, which is a straight shot to the mainland.

I don't remember reading if Maverick needed its own line or not, but doesn't it use the same type of propulsion system as Wicked Twister?

And so I ask....

When is it deemed that a special power line needs to be in place for a new attraction?

Also, I would imagine that new power lines are needed for all new attractions - is the location of a new attraction ever dependent on current location of power lines or are installing new lines not that big of a deal?

I guess an even a more basic question - does a park's local power supplier provide any special set-ups for a park?

(I would like factual answers, not guesses)

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I know Drop Zone and FoF have their own dedicated power lines and possibly IJ. Before said lines were installed, there was a direct phone line (The Bat phone) between DZ and FoF that the control operators would have to pick up to make sure FoF would not launch while DZ was on its way to the top or vise versa. Both FoF and DZ require an enormous amount of power and if the two tried to use it at the same time, it would cause a park wide power failure. Not sure if it still does it or not but I fondly remember all the lights on the DZ control panel dimming while the gondola was being hoisted to the top.

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Its a safe bet, that if they had to bring in a whole new power line for Wicked Twister, they also put in some extra conduits to handle additional power in the future as the park expanded its need for electricity.

when is it deemed that a ride needs its own power supply? Likely when that ride's electrical requirements push the park's current electrical grid above its capacity. Cedar Pointe has a definable amount of power available to the park that is limited by the number of wires brought into the park, the size of those wires, and the size of the transformers and circuit breakers inside the park. Think about your house and the circuit breaker you have. There is nothing that prevents you from plugging in a hairdryer into every outlet, turn on the dryer and AC all while watching TV and leaving the fridge open. However, the electrical system in most houses is not capable of handling all that load at once, which will cause a spike in demand of current and trip the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is simply nothing more than a safety device that prevents too much power from coming into the house or any one circruit so that the lines w/n the circruit and/or house don't exceed their capacity and start a fire. Now if you wanted to run all that stuff at once, you could certainly hire an electrician to bring a new line to your house, run new wires in the walls to different parts of the building which will then allow you to run everything at once.

That is essentially what Cedar Point did, they're grid was likely reaching peak capacity and Wicked Twister was going to push it over the edge, or close enough that fear of a power shut down from too many operations going on at the same time was a possibility. In order to increase their capacity, they went and brought a new line which gave them additional capacity for the park. Perhaps that line was sized specifically for Wicked Twister, perhaps that line had extra capacity for more park expansion in the future.

I'd imagine the location of a new attraction is a factor, though it may be a small factor. Keep in mind, not all new rides need a ton of power in relation to the rest of the park. I'm sure the motors on Diamondback have a pretty high hP rating, but its likely a small fraction of the amount of power needed to cool down a space like Flight of Fear and all the AC that building uses as well as the power needed to run the ride. Dinosaurs Alive likely uses very little power in relation to other rides.

the current infrastructure of a park likely pays a role in a ride's location. Its not overly difficult to run new electrical lines and conduit, but if you're going far off the beaten path that means you've got to dig trenches, perhaps saw cut concrete, patch up any concrete, etc.... Like any other business, they're looking to save money wherever they can. In most cases, the cost of installing new conduit for new electric lines w/n the park is probably a small cost compared to the cost of the actual ride itself.

I'd also imagine all parks have a special arrangement w/ the local electric supplier. Kings Island might be the biggest user of power in warren county (I don't know that, I just can't think of anyone else that would come close). I'm sure they get a break in pricing, I'm sure Duke Energy is aware of their future expansion possibilities, etc... I'm sure King's Island already has expansion in mind the last time they updated their lines coming into the park. If they're starting to run out of power, they will consider expansion the next time they bring more power into the park.

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All of this power does not come cheap and like this and all the other expenses the parks have is the reason they charge high prices on the services and products that they sale. I am sure when the parks build new rides, besides the cost of the ride itself, construction of the ride, the power requirements are factored into the total cost of the ride. It is like when we go to the car dealer and buy that new car, the EPA has the MPG and the cost to operated based on the gas used for a year on the sticker.

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Short simple answer without getting too technical. Both KI and CP have a dedicated sub station that provides power to them, KI is located just south of the water park and has two "sides" one for KI and one for the surrounding area, CP is located on the mainland just west of the causeway I believe. Basically it is set up like a grid, they use a three phase system strung out around the park. Each "ride" or "attraction" will take power from one, two, or all three of the wires by a transformer that turns the voltage provided via the wires and turn it into a usable voltage. Basically it is the same as the wires going into an industrial park and being distributed into each business. CP system was upgraded not just for Maverick, but for the entire park.

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