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Case Study – Cotswold Farm Park


Here we take a look at how Adam Henson and Duncan Andrew managed to reduce fuel and maintenance costs by 80%.

Famous for their collection of rare breeds and the regular appearances of Adam Henson on BBC’s “Countryfile” television series, Cotswold Farm Park has grown since opening in 1971 and now attracts between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors every year.

Located within the idyllic Cotswold countryside, the Park has been providing the perfect family day out for the past 42 years and offers the chance to learn more about modern farming, farming history and conservation.

To provide power for the superb facilities on-site, including the touring caravan pitches Cotswold Farm Park has relied on the original electrical mains supply installed in 1971. As visitor numbers have risen each year the site has begun to reach the limit of the 200 Amp rated mains power supply. At the beginning of 2011 it became necessary to hire a 60kVA diesel generator to help cope with demand.

Their electrician, Clint Parker wired in a changeover switch so that if the load became excessive the generator could be started and part of the load manually transferred. During the Park’s busier periods they were frequently drawing more power then the mains could deliver so were forced to leave the generator running for 24 hours per day.

If the load increased above 200Amps there was a risk of blowing the main supply fuse causing unacceptable disruption to the Park and their visitors. Daily fuel consumption was around 125 litres of diesel.

Given their focus on conservation Adam and Duncan were concerned about the volume of fuel being consumed and the cost. Duncan had heard that a local farmer had installed a Powerguard off-grid power system for his house. This caught Adam and Duncan’s attention and once they had seen the system operating, they were so impressed that they immediately got in touch with Powerguard.

Powerguard supplied an enhanced efficiency 50kVA diesel generator and a control system called TransGen. The system analyses the load and is able to recognise trends in the power demand. This allows it to get too high for the incoming mains supply. When this happens TransGen automatically starts the generator and reduces the load. As soon as the load is trending down the system transfers the load back to the mains supply and shuts down the generator.

During the peak season, the intelligent control system reduced the time the generator was running to about 4 hours per day which resulted in diesel fuel consumption of just 15 litres per day – a reduction of 110 litres. Maintenance costs are also reduced as a result of the reduced generator run times. During the off-peak winter period the TransGen will probably not need to start the generator at all.

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