Priva takes control in The Swamp at Paignton Zoo

Providing the demanding environmental conditions for The Swamp at Paignton Zoo is a Priva building-management system.
Environmental conditions in the new crocodile swamp at Paignton Zoo, which houses six crocodiles, four boa constrictors, nine pythons, various exotic fish and numerous turtles, are controlled by a system from Priva Building Intelligence, working with Ecotech UK, Hoare Lea and the zoo as the client. Duncan Grant, technical manager of Ecotech, explains, ‘Managing a wildlife environment is much more demanding than, say, an office. If staff are uncomfortable they can complain to the facilities manager, whereas for animals a poor environment can not only be uncomfortable but can directly affect their health.’ A Priva Compri HX8E with additional I/O modules has been installed in the plant room’s main control panel, made by Ecotech. This controller manages all plant and equipment in the plant room, including a woodchip boiler. It also manages temperature and humidity in the swamp, roof and side vents, sun blinds and local infra-red heaters to provide hot spots for snakes — as well as power sockets to interactive exhibitions. Temperature is maintained at 27°C, with the option of night setback to 25°C. Pond temperature is kept at 25°C, with the swamp humidity at 75 to 80%. The humidity system uses a high-pressure pump that forces water through very fine nozzles at 110 bar to atomise into fog. The swamp has large glazed areas with sunblinds fitted to the roof and side and activated at preset light levels to reduce solar gain. As the temperature in the swamp rises, the roof vents open, followed by the side vents if necessary so as to provide additional cooling. The sunblinds are then closed, if necessary, to maintain temperature. At night, the blinds are used as thermal energy screens. Specialist stage lighting and DVD and interactive displays that were originally to be switched manually in the morning and evening by staff are now managed by the Priva control, at the suggestion of Duncan Grant. The rainwater harvesting system and filtration system for the crocodile pool have alarm outputs that are monitored by the Priva system. The are two Priva touchscreens. One is in the plant room for use by technical operators, and the other is at the entrance to The Swamp for use by keepers. In the maintenance office, a PC running TC Vision and TC History provides complete system data and operational control in graphical format, plus figures and logs relating to equipment running times, electrical consumption and water use.
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