TTD: Cost per Launch

Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:52 AM
I don't know if anyone has heard a number, but I was wondering how much it costs Cedar Point in electricity each time TTD launches. I wouldn't even know where to begin guessing.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 3:02 AM
I think not so much money in electricity. The pumps that compress the nitrogen probably don't use much for how much potential energy it creates.

But I'm just a teen in public (Californian) high school, so I guess I should have just waited for someone like "RideMan" to respond. :)

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:12 AM
I did some basic calculations last year when Kingda Ka was announced and I can't recall exactly but the figure I came up with was in the $50-60 range That was based on power needed to accelerate the trains and local energy costs: totally an amateur job that is more that likely off a bit but at least a decent estimation I would think.

Then again, I don't know exactly how the launch works. Compressed nitrogen? Definately a curveball.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:39 AM
I wouldn't think that it would be that high.
Kingda Ka moves 1400 riders per hour that works out to be about 78 trains per hour. So today, the park will be open for 11 hours, so that's about 858 launches at $50 a pop would be about $42,900. I could not imagine a park, especially a Six Flags spending that kind of money on a daily basis for an attraction. In a month, they could be spending over a million just in operating costs. That’s just not particle.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:10 AM
I think this was talked about back with the Chiller and why they won't launch both trains at the same time. But I believe they are charged by the highest Electricity spike of the day. Not per launch. So at noon they used 180 giga watts and nothing got that high the rest of the day they would be charged for the usage of 180 gig watts.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:20 AM

DS said:
I wouldn't think that it would be that high.
Kingda Ka moves 1400 riders per hour that works out to be about 78 trains per hour. So today, the park will be open for 11 hours, so that's about 858 launches at $50 a pop would be about $42,900. I could not imagine a park, especially a Six Flags spending that kind of money on a daily basis for an attraction. In a month, they could be spending over a million just in operating costs. That’s just not particle.


hmmm, maybe thats why TTD and KK Have so much downtime? I know thats not the reason but it could be one of the reasons they dont run on a frequent basis.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:29 AM

GoliathKills said:
I think not so much money in electricity. The pumps that compress the nitrogen probably don't use much for how much potential energy it creates.
Wrong! Monty Jasper said that the electric bill for Dragster is higher than that of Wicked Twister. Add in the air conditioning, and look out.

Energy is energy. It takes a lot of energy to shoot something up over 400 feet in the air. You can't do more with less. The only thing you can do is try to tweak the efficiency of the system. Judging by the insane heat those things generate, I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say it's not a very efficient system.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:51 AM
Well having been a co-op engineer at gas and electric company in Ohio, perhaps I could shed some light. The cost of electricity is usually charged by the amount of electrical energy used in Kilo Watt hour. For summer, the peak demand of electricity is higher than other times, so it would be around 10 cents/KWH, instead of 8 cents.

So according to http://www.hydraulicspneumatics.com/200/IndZone/Entertainment/Article/False/9802/IndZone-Entertainment

the hydraulic system uses 10,000 hp of power. General conversion is 1hp = 745.7W, so that is 7457 Kilo watts of power. According to several other articles, they wanted intially to use LIM's because it would be more energy efficient, but in the end it not have the needed power to accelerate the vehicle to meet thier design. Basically the hydraulic system could launch the vehicle in less distance and at a greater acceleratoin, thus it was chosen.

For comparisons sake, the amount of power for Flight of Fear is 1980KW, according to this article below.

http://www.energyvortex.com/files/square_d_roller_coaster_voltage.pdf

That was taken from an electrical engineering company, that did work for PKI to eliminate the reactive power (VARS) on Flight of Fear. So since that ride is using large inductive motors, there will be a phase difference between current and voltage, and they corrected it so there is no lag.

So if that hydraulic launch is really less energy efficient, 7457KW seems ball park if you compare it to Flight of Fear, and consider that one is launching a vehicle to 120 mph in 4 seconds, and another is launching one to 54 mph in around the same time.

Now on to determing the cost to launch the ride. So although the launch is 4 seconds, the article about hydraulics mentions that the system is used for 6 seconds during launch, so will use that. I don't really no if either is correct but use the larger number as kind of an upper limit/maximum value that it could cost.

So now lets show the values and calculate it:

Power for 1 launch = 7457KW

Use of Power for Launch = 6 seconds

Energy Used = (7457KW)*(6s)*(1hr/3600s)

Energy Used = 12.43KWH

This is energy used for 1 launch

So using the theoretical capacity, since that is also an upper bound type value, and will yield the highest possible value.

capacity = 1400 pph

Trains Launched in hour = 78 (18 passenger trains)

Trains Launched in 1 day = 1092 trains (14 hours, 10am to 12 pm on saturdays)

So 1092 times will need this peak power and will use it for around 6 seconds

Total Energy used = 1092*12.43 KWH

Total Energy Used = 13573.56KWH

Total Cost = (13573.56KWH)*(10cents/KWH)

Total Cost = 135735.60 cents

Total Cost = 1357 dollars and 36 cents a day

I guess that number seems reasonable. This is just to launch the ride, and does include other electrical energy cost, such as lights, sensors/PLC's, ect. But does 1357 dollars sound to high, low, or around ball park?

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 11:52 AM
1 hp = 745 W = .745 KW!
(not 7457KW)
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:16 PM
Antuan:

yes 1 hp = 745.7 W

I used that above, to convert the 10,000 hp used in hydraulic launch system to come up with 7457KW used in launch system. I think my math is ok, but skipped a few steps since I thought it was rather easy to follow.

here is the math step by step if you want to check though:

10,000hp*(745.7W/1hp)*(1KW/1000W) = 7457KW

That seems right to me, read the whole post and tell me if it makes more sense. My math seems ok.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:52 PM
yep, you're right ;)
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 1:17 PM
$40,000 dollar4s each day on a ride is too much . Now the smart electric operator calculated the real amount. It is so much more reasonable.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:03 PM
/\ Now you gotta know why park admission prices are ridiculously high ;).
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Monday, September 12, 2005 4:11 PM
Thanks for the math...and the insight....

I run a 32 lane bowling center and in comparison, our highest electric bill is about $4500 in the middle of summer, with the air conditioning going full bore for a 30000 SF building, and the lanes, and scoring, and etc....

That's 4 days worth of TTD....man...the economics of scale of my bowling center pales in comparison....like a drop in a bucket.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:35 PM
That sounds like a lot per day, but when you think about the high number of launches that's for, and it only being ~$1.25 per launch to do *that much work*, it doesn't seem so high.

A top fuel dragster burns through around $400 in fuel, and $3000 in wear and tear, with each run down the track. ;)

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