NORD gear units in Europe’s largest amusement park

Rides and attractions in amusement and adventure parks are not possible without electric drives: without a drive, no movement, no experience and most of all, no thrill. The suppliers providing the drive technology required to keep the rides moving shoulder great responsibility in this regard. The visitor’s safety, the attraction's smooth and undisturbed operation - all of this depends on the drive’s proper functioning. Therefore, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS is well known to Energylandia. The company’s drives have already proven themselves in various installations. During the construction of Viking Ride, an additional attraction now enriching the park, the amusement park designers have directly contacted NORD Napędy, the Polish branch of NORD DRIVESYSTEMS in Zakrzów to procure the necessary drive technology.

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Customer in focus

Energylandia is not only the largest theme park in Poland but in the whole of Europe. The plant in Zator, located just in between the two regions of Upper Silesia and Malopolska in southern Poland, can be reached in half an hour via car from both Katowice and Krakow.

The park covers approximately 43 ha and has big plans. It is planned for the area to grow nearly fivefold to up to 200 ha. The park is divided into six theme areas: Fairytale Land, Family Zone, Extreme Zone, Water Park, Dragon Zone and Aqualantis, which opened this year. Visitors can enjoy 106 attractions for all ages. This includes rollercoasters, various roundabouts and rides for extreme thrills as well as restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, stages, a planetarium and the cinema 7D. Spacious hotels are currently under construction. Energylandia is highly popular with both children and adults.

The Energylandia amusement and adventure park opened in 2014 and has been rapidly evolving since. The list of attractions is growing steadily and new areas and objects keep being added. Thousands of tourists enjoy top world-class entertainment in Energylandia each year. In 2019 the park had 1.6 million visitors. The mainstay of the successful development is the constant planning and the realisation of new rollercoasters. The motto is bigger, faster, higher. On 14 July 2021 Energylandia celebrated its seventh anniversary and could proudly announce that the park is currently ranked first in Europe and second worldwide with regard to the number of rollercoasters. Currently they number 18.

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Project challenge

The gear units from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS have already proven themselves in the current drives in Energylandia.

“Speed”, the highest and fastest water rollercoaster in the world, utilises 30 SK9032.1 - IEC100 gear units, which the installation’s engineer obtained from the NORD branch in Switzerland. The cars barrel across the up to 60 m high structure with a speed of no less than 100 km/h. Two expanses of water are crossed during the ride - an unforgettable experience.

NORD drives are also used in “Zadra”, the highest wooden rollercoaster, which is breaking all records. Zadra was constructed in 2019 and was built as a hybrid model, using both wood and metal. Here, the cars rise to a height of almost 64 metres to plummet at a 90 degrees angle with a speed of 121 km/h, passing the breath-taking distance of 1,316 metres in 1 minute and 50 seconds. This incredible attraction incorporates 20 SK32 VL – 112 MP/4 BRE60 HL drives which were purchased by its manufacturer from NORD.

During the construction of "Viking Ride", an additional attraction now enriching the park, the designers have directly contacted NORD Napędy, the polish branch of NORD DRIVESYSTEMS in Zakrzów.

As an attraction, Viking Ride is integrated into the Viking village and consists of wooden rafts in the shape of dragons, embarking with their passengers on board on an adventure trip through the prehistoric landscape of the Viking realm. Throughout the journey, various surprises and gimmicks enrich the experience.

During the attraction’s planning stage NORD’s engineers faced the challenge of developing a drive system that could move a 1.5 ton raft through a water run onto land. The drive units were meant to drive rubber wheels with a diameter of 58 cm, raising the raft to a higher level on contact. To complete the challenge, the drive units had to function fully underwater. NORD DRIVESYSTEMS had to rise to the challenge of designing drive systems that are equally reliable, waterproof and safe.

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Application Solution

After discussions between the designers and the application engineers from NORD Napędy the decision was made for twelve drive systems, consisting of a SK9042.1 – IEC90 – TMU90S/4 -100 motor and SK 500E-221-340-A frequency inverters. This series of vector inverters, which has been tried and tested in many industries and application areas, with a highly-developed control functions and enhancement options for highly reliable safety functions meets the strictest regulations for electronic devices. The robust construction and the built-in suppression filters guarantee a long-standing trouble-free operation. Chosen rafts were equipped with solid shaft bevel gear units, which have distinguished themselves by their high efficiency. The geared motors had been filled with a synthetic hydrocarbon oil with a VCI addition (corrosion protection) and therefore could be stored for over nine months. Furthermore, reinforced bearings with increased bearing capacity were inserted on the drive side, which can accept higher outer radial and axial loads.

The shafts themselves and other small parts are manufactured from stainless V2A chrome-nickel steel. The whole drive conforms to the protection class IP68 and is therefore suitable for underwater use.

This is achieved by, among other things, a double sealing and a gamma-ring on a special intermediate sleeve made from V2A steel as well as by glued-in bearing cover and a special painting. The chosen painting of class C5, consists of a primer with dipping technique, two layers of 2 component zinc phosphate primer based on epoxy resin and two layers of 2 component polyurethane cover coat. This sealing system completely protects the gear units against the entry of water and corrosion.

Thanks to the smooth cooperation Energylandia‘s team was so satisfied it was decided to further intensify cooperation and employ the services of NORDAKADEMIE. This refers to a NORD training concept that has been established in Poland for several years, aimed at designers, maintenance personnel and service technicians. Based on thousands of customer projects and fortified by theoretical and practical knowledge, specialists from the Polish NORD branch are conducting training on the topics of designing, using and maintaining NORD’s drive technology.