Holland Casino: commited to continuity and security

Vincent van Dinther, Technical specialist facilities, Holland Casino

Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of Holland Casino’s mission and vision. Electrification, sustainability, and safety play a key role in this.

I am responsible for compliance with laws and regulations related to electrical building installations. This requires clear, up-to-date insights into interconnection between all installations, buildings, and technical elements. At Holland Casino, continuity and security are paramount. For example, each location has its own UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply. In the unlikely event of an emergency, all guests will be able to find their way out with no issues. Of course, this comes at a price, but the enjoyment and safety of the guests is paramount. We take our responsibility very seriously.

For us, power outages would have far-reaching consequences. If we need to restart the system after a malfunction, we can only do so between 4 AM and 11 AM. Should the power go down, we also have to make sure that the casino is properly secured! At all times, security guards must be able to do their job and video surveillance must function properly. Besides our casinos, we also have an online operation, designed with complete redundancy of all components in mind.

At our locations, we experience just about every type of Power Quality phenomenon. HyTEPS has taken measurements in various places. It was interesting to see harmonics across the full spectrum, for example. Not only at low frequencies, which is quite common, but also at very high frequencies. Tracking down and solving such issues can be done much faster if you have your monitoring in order. Our slot machines are sourced from all over the world. Different standards and regulations apply everywhere, so devices might perfectly meet the standards of their country of origin, but if you put them all on the same network, very interesting phenomena may occur. We need to make sure that all devices can all be connected to the same electrical grid, without interference. We achieve this, for example, by using active filters.

Smart measurements

At one point, we had to deal with a very low impedance at one of our branches, which could cause fuses to fail. For a moment we were afraid that we would have to open up the casino floor to find the cause, but fortunately HyTEPS was able to locate and solve the problem by measuring and eliminating it in a smart way.

Optimal coordination requires in-depth insight. Monitoring and measuring also helps achieve our energy savings goals. To optimally reduce energy consumption, you need to determine the most logical first step. Which measures will really pay off? Which are really feasible and what is the best way to implement them? After all, the energy transition is very difficult. We do not want to wait for government measures to be announced, but instead decide what steps we need to take. Holland Casino’s ambition is to operate in a climate-neutral way by 2050, committing ourselves to the SBTi. But how are we going to achieve that? By electrifying everything? Or by using hydrogen? Or introducing heat pumps? Before you set something in motion, you really need to have a good idea of what the consequences will be. Modelling and simulation based on accurate, up-to-date data and proven models is essential. This also helps in complying with the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). This not only asks companies to report on their own emissions, but also on those of the entire supply chain. This is also reviewed by an external auditor. This means that you must have your data in order and be able to provide it in a transparent way.

New challenges due to grid congestion

We’re seeing significant grid congestion in the Netherlands. People can’t get connected, and existing connections often no longer suffice. This introduces new challenges. I recently received a letter from the grid operator: we had apparently exceeded the permitted peak load of one of our connections by one kW. It turns out that this measurement was taken in a shared car park, so fortunately it wasn’t our fault. But still: getting a warning like that is unsettling. It was a bit of a shock. Installation managers will be confronted with this more and more often.

With that in mind, we are looking at how we can deal with peak loads in a smarter way. For example, what is the smartest time to switch refrigeration systems on and off? When does it make sense to work with batteries? We are also replacing older installations with a relatively high consumption. What steps give you the greatest results? What are we going to replace immediately? What can wait? We also need to substantiate our decisions to various authorities. For peak shaving and better power consumption scheduling, you need a very good insight into your own consumption. Fortunately, we get consumption updates every fifteen minutes. However, if we want to tackle the distribution of loads nationwide, everyone should have insight into other parties’ anonymized data.

Vincent van Dinther has been working at Holland Casino since 1993, initially as a technical manager and mechanical engineer until 2000 and as facility manager and coordinating installation manager since 2003. As of 2021, Vincent is a technical specialist for all 14 branches of Holland Casino and works together with an external installation manager.


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