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All systems grow

14 August 2019

Tottenham Hotspur recently held an open day to show the impressive technology within its new 62,000 seater stadium, which has been 17 years in the planning and development. Andy Pye went along

The new stadium has four large video screens, LED signage, public Wi-Fi access, mobile point of sale (POS) systems, click and collect cashless food and beverage, as well as analytics platforms that deliver data about user behaviour.

Connectivity

Purpose-designed as a multi-use venue, the stadium features a grass pitch in three sections which retract under the car park at one end of the stadium. The retractable pitch is there to ensure that the football-playing surface is always in peak condition. Positioned 18 inches underneath the grass field is a fixed synthetic surface that is used for other events, such as concerts, rugby and NFL games (two NFL matches are to be played there each year for 10 years).

US sporting venues have been a benchmark for the club’s technological blueprint. For example, wireless connectivity in European stadiums is often poor; in the US it is almost a given that any venue, whether NFL, soccer or an indoor arena, has connectivity.

The Club has selected Schneider Electric as its Official Stadium Energy Management Supplier. As part of the relationship, Schneider Electric distributes power supply throughout the new stadium and integrates key systems and data flow for day-to-day energy and operational efficiency.

The company's EcoStruxure digital backbone connects all the Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) systems into the stadium’s architecture. EcoStruxure provides real-time monitoring for such diverse applications as preventative maintenance and personalised visitor experiences, including temperature and lighting.

electrical infrastructure is monitored constantly from Schneider Electric’s remote field services bureau

In the control room, operators - including seconded specialists from Schneider on event days and in the build-up period - can drill down into every piece of equipment running throughout the stadium; data from individual generators, fans, motors and pumps can be pulled onto the screen with a simple mouse click. The electrical infrastructure is monitored constantly from Schneider Electric’s remote field services bureau. Building Analytics software performs system checks every five minutes.

Grow lighting system

Grow lights help grow grass and achieve a consistent and healthy grass coverage across the entire surface throughout the entire year when there is limited direct sunlight getting to the grass. SGL, SCX and Hewitt Sportsturf have developed a world-first integrated pitch grow lighting system.

While the old pitch grow lighting system at White Hart Lane consisted of traditional 'wheeled-in' units rolled onto the pitch and manoeuvred into position, the new system is stored underneath the North Stand, solving the issue of limited storage space. The moving structure weighs approximately 120 tonnes with 864 individual lights covering a total of 7,525sq.m.

From there, it is lifted hydraulically onto rails mounted permanently on the east and west pitch trays; it then seamlessly rolls from one end of the pitch to the other. This enables full coverage of the pitch without equipment ever coming directly into contact with the grass surface. There is enough distance between the pitch and the grow lighting system to enable groundsmen to continue to tend to the grass even when the system is in use. An irrigation system is fitted on top of the structure so that the grass can be watered from above when the units are in use. Each individual unit is itself divided into six lighting groups that may be switched on and off independently, for example to treat specific high wear areas.

The growing conditions are measured 24/7 by analysers on the pitch, with data is continuously displayed on a portal. Calculations are performed continuously in the background and simultaneously converted into advice to optimise grass quality and health.

A second grow lighting system based on LEDs illuminates the total pitch when it is placed under the stand. The operation of both light sources is based on the calculated light and heat demand of the grass in the different circumstances.

Key Points

  • Wireless connectivity in European stadiums is often poor; in the US it is almost a given that any venue has connectivity
  • Schneider Electric distributes power supply and integrates key systems and data flow for day-to-day energy and operational efficiency
  • SGL, SCX and Hewitt Sportsturf have developed a world-first integrated pitch grow lighting system at the stadium

 
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