LÜTZE lights up Rio

Posted on 17 May 2024 by The Manufacturer
Partner Content

The Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is constantly bustling with activity. Ensuring that thousands of lights never go out, is the task of LÜTZE’s power supplies and power monitoring solutions.

Visitors can admire the six-metre-high Swiss Alps, peer into the Grand Canyon, stroll past Las Vegas and Miami, and find themselves in Rome and Venice, gazing at the glowing Vesuvius or the vast expanses of Tuscany. Model planes take off and land at the world’s largest miniature airport, while ships dock in a Scandinavian port. In between, more than 1,000 digitally controlled trains move around on 16 kilometres of track, and from approximately 200 “button-press actions,” visitors can animate the scenes and characters.

Every 15 minutes, 18,000 LEDs light up safely thanks to the LOCC-Box power monitoring (Credit: Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg)

The LUTZE LOCC-Box keeps watch throughout the night

Every 15 minutes night falls and every building window, street lamp, and car headlight illuminates. A total of 18,000 LEDs powered by LÜTZE.

All LEDs and button-press actions are controlled by self-developed control boards. To ensure that a failure in one area does not cause a blackout everywhere, three units for load monitoring are individually protected by a LÜTZE LOCC-Box.

The LOCC-Box’s intelligent behaviour is crucial for the Miniatur Wunderland. Its analogue tripping characteristic curve ensures that even distant control boards are optimally protected in case of a short circuit. The LÜTZE power monitoring solution reliably detects low short-circuit or fault currents, depending on the current needs of the three control boards and their connected devices. The rated current for each LOCC-Box can be individually adjusted. Since the LED lights, which are the main load, don’t create high inrush currents, the fast characteristic can be chosen to optimally protect the connected technology.

If required, the standard LOCC-Box-Net can be supplemented with the space-saving two-channel variant LOCC-Box-ED-Net. This reduces the required width per channel to about 4 mm, with only minimal changes to functionality. The tripping characteristic curve is fixed, and the rated current is set simultaneously for both channels of the ED variant. However, each channel is individually monitored and safely disconnected in case of a fault. This allows for cost optimization and space savings.

Powerful power supplies feed 40 LOCC-Box-Net Units

All electrical and mechanical components are located on a second level, beneath the visible miniature world. Here, two groups of 20 LOCC-Box-Net units monitor over 100 control boards for the Rio lighting. Each LÜTZE power supply with 100 A output, feeds one of the 20 load monitors along with the control boards. These power supplies can be adjusted in the range of DC 11.9 V to DC 29 V, covering even the rare operating voltage of the Wunderland LED boards at DC 15 V, with industrial- level performance and high power output. The LOCC-Box operates in a voltage range of DC 10 V to DC 30 V and ideally complements the selectively protected voltage distribution from the power supplies to the control boards. A third 2.4 kW power supply provides power at a different voltage to other devices beneath the installation. For example, the under-table lighting for maintenance purposes, which is controlled with either DC 12 V or DC 24 V, depending on the construction phase.

Joris Steffens, the responsible technician, says: “What we particularly appreciate about the LÜTZE power supplies and LOCC-Boxes, is their space-saving and clear installation method, as well as the ability to communicate with the gateway via PC, and retrieve data such as voltage, current, and possible faults without having to perform complex measurements under the model railway installation. We also use the on/off function of the LOCC-Boxes to save energy before the actual start of the installation.”

Power supply and monitoring of the South America section under construction (Credit: Friedrich Lütze GmbH)

Control center always in the picture via bus

In addition to electrical protection, the bus-capable LOCC-Box-Net units serve another important function, as they are connected to the central control room. This impressive central control room monitors and controls all systems in the Miniatur Wunderland, from a thousand model trains to room lighting, and the air conditioning. Until now, failures in the LED lighting of the installation could only be detected and rectified on- site, beneath the installation. By choosing bus-capable LOCC-Box-Net units, the Miniatur Wunderland ideally integrates status signals and reset options. Through the LÜTZE CAN-Bus gateway, the conditions of all channels are indicated at the control room. In the event of an error, each individual channel can be switched on, off, or reset from the control room.

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