While the West has Las Vegas, the East has its own treasure, Parx Casino, the largest casino in Pennsylvania. Located in Bensalem, it includes 3,500 slot machines, 140 live table games, 60 poker tables, live racing and simulcast action, and several dining options and bars. Recently, the company expanded its operation with an event center, a poker room, two restaurants, and a kitchen — all boasting audiovisual and lighting elements. Having worked with Parx Casino on its other AVL needs, the company once again entrusted New Jersey-based systems integration company Starlite to oversee the appointment and installation of a power control solution.
In the Xcite Center, the casino’s new event center, Starlite didn’t hold back, integrating cutting-edge technology designed to amp up live entertainment performances, comedy acts, boxing and MMA events, and more in the 1500-seat venue. There are two 16-feet by 9-feet left/right video screens walls, a massive 36-feet by 12-feet onstage video wall, a professional-grade sound system, a custom rigging system, and more than 4,800 architectural and stage lighting fixtures all designed to give patrons the best in class entertainment.
The new pizza restaurant and new gastropub were installed with their own systems as well. Both were built out with loudspeakers for background music, TV audio, and paging. In addition, the pub includes a small stage with a performance audio system and a large video wall. The poker room features a background music system, paging, TVs throughout, and architectural lighting.
With a fast track design and short construction schedule, specifying and integrating the AVL equipment was a challenge, another was cost-effectively and reliably controlling the power to it all. That demanded a smart, professional, and trust-worthy system that could be operated and controlled with a touch of button.
“One of the interesting things about the casino is their entire facility is backed up on generators. For this expansion, they had to add a three-megawatt backup generator, providing them with nine megawatts of standby power. And then, on top of that, anything that's critical is backed up through UPS. They take their power control seriously,” said Brandon Creel, ETCP, CTS-D, director of engineering at Starlite.
The first requirement was to enable the casino to provide complete power control to the more than 4,800 of light fixtures across the space. LED and digital stage lighting are designed to burn brightly for years without costly and inconvenient lamp replacements, making them the go-to lighting solution for venues of all sizes. However, to preserve the life of the fixtures and to protect the sensitive electronics inside, they must be completely powered off when not in use.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that when a room like the Xcite Center, or even the the poker room or restaurants, power is still flowing to those fixtures even if they’re switched off and there are no lights on in the room,” said Creel. “You can’t just hit a wall switch nowadays; you have to power down at the circuit level. That meant we needed a way to remotely turn on and off the fixtures when they weren’t in use, protect them from any power anomalies, and prolong the life of the electronic components inside.”
The same is true for the video walls in the Xcite Center and the pub. Because video walls are basically a bunch of LED panels tiled together, powering up video walls can create a large energy inrush. They must be systematically sequenced on to handle that large energy load, which can prevent nuisance circuit breaker trips and even more importantly, protect the processors and power supplies in the LED video panels.
The other requirements were to address the power control to the rigging system. There are custom 100-amp high-current raceways that feed all the motors, one for the stage and one for the house. Full on/off power control was needed not just to conserve energy flowing to the system but also as a safety precaution.
“When there’s no power going to the system when it’s not in use, it's another layer of protection to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it. It also prevents anyone from accidentally changing the settings for a show. The crew can set it for how they want it to be, then power it down, and nothing's going to move before the show,” said Creel.
Finding a solution that could easily and flexibly handle all those requirements was certainly a tall order, but Starlite knew LynTec, its go-to power control solution, was up for the job. It also helped that the casino already had witnessed the kind of performance LynTec’s solutions deliver. The casino had previously installed one of LynTec’s panels in a recent bar expansion project. That project was all the proof the casino needed for this project and it was one that Starlite stands behind.
“We've been using Lyntec products for probably a decade now, and the controllability, integration, reporting, and the reliability of the product is top notch,” said Creel. For this project, Starlite provided seven LynTec RPC breaker panels as well as two RPC slave panels for a total of 443 controllable circuits. RPC remote control breaker panels are designed based on the G3 PowerlinkTM hardware platform by Square D, a universally recognized and trusted hardware foundation. This cost-effective and open platform eliminates the expense of custom designed and manufactured products that are hard to replace when discontinued. It also removes the additional step and space needed to install a separate relay panel. Electricians can quickly and easily wire the system while providing additional circuit switching control capabilities in the same enclosure.
The RPC series features a flexible architecture that will also enable the organization to add more circuits in the same horizontal wall space to control a greater number of components, as needed. The RPC panels support 48-, 66-, and 84-circuit breaker positions with no increase in enclosure width. Because of this comprehensive package, integrators can easily set up, program, monitor, and control loads on a circuit-specific level.
Accessible from any web-enabled device, the solutions provide a complete overview and allow users to take action remotely, resulting in greater installation flexibility, more efficient power control, and the ability to provide direct on/off control for LED lighting. The panelboards also enable built-in under- and over-voltage protection, optional customizable sequential circuit level on/off capabilities, and the ability to interface with third-party control systems via contact closure, TCP/IP, DMX, or RS-232.
The LynTec RPC panel enables affordable, power control for all the AVL requirements for the casino’s new space. The system extends the life and cuts down on energy costs and maintenance for all its LED fixtures and video walls across the new addition. The panels properly sequence on video walls, delivering vital protection from in-rush damage. The sequencing also benefits the audio equipment by ensuring everything turns on in the right order and works together. Finally, it provides on/off power control to its rigging system and raceways. It operators can use its Crestron control touchpanels to efficiently control the RPC panels alongside the rest of its AVL capability programmed into the system. The result is fluid control that easily handles the 24/7 performance needs of the popular casino.
Images at www.ingearpr.com/LynTec/LynTec_Parx.zip