Spurred on to achieve high resilience


    Tottenham Hotspur is saving energy, as well as goals, at its new state-of-the art stadium at White Hart Lane, using the latest technology. The use of connected analytics is also preventing the risk of catastrophic outages, which have stopped play at other major sporting venues, around the world. Louise Frampton reports.

    For fans of Tottenham Hotspur, ‘football came home’ to a new £850m stadium at White Hart Lane on 3rd April, this year. Capable of seating over 62,000 fans, the state-of-the art stadium kicked-off a new era with a victory against Crystal Palace. Capable of hosting both Premier League football and American football matches, this impressive sporting facility boasts some stand-out features – including a glass walkway, where visitors can experience a ‘Sky Walk’ 40 ft above the pitch, reach out to touch the cockerel above the stand, and test their nerve by abseiling from the stadium roof. 

    The stadium also features the world’s first retractable, dividing pitch, rolling out the natural grass to reveal an artificial surface below; and, for thirsty fans, there is also a queue-busting 65m bar (the longest in Europe) spanning the entire length of the goal line, served by the stadium’s own microbrewery. Every last detail has been designed to enhance the fans’ experience, making Tottenham Hotspur a ‘destination’ far beyond the typical sporting venue. 

    Behind the scenes, White Hart Lane is also one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world – from the IT infrastructure enhancing the fans’ interactive experience, during major sporting and live-music events, through to the sophisticated monitoring systems supporting intelligent management of power infrastructure and lighting. 

    Any outage during a game, would have serious ramifications for safety, as well as impacting the reputation and finances of the Club. In the US, a power outage lasting 35 minutes interrupted the Super Bowl in New Orleans, in 2013, which was traced back to a “relay’s trip setting”. At the time, the outage prompted considerable anxiety over whether the incident would impact the city’s ability to attract ‘big-ticket’ games in the future (CNN, February 8, 2013). 

    To avoid the risk of high-profile incidents such as these, technically advanced electrical infrastructure has been installed at the heart of the new stadium’s design – supported by Tottenham Hotspur’s energy management partner, Schneider Electric. The electrical infrastructure installed at the site has been optimised to deliver the twin goals of resilience and energy efficiency.

    Four major substations from Schneider Electric bring power into the stadium and provide a high level of resilience, in the event of any problems with the UK power networks. In addition, the stadium’s power is backed-up two standby generators, while various uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems have been installed throughout the stadium.

    There are two main IT data rooms located within the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and each room has UPS support consisting of three 300Kva Galaxy 7000 UPS modules in parallel to provide a 600Kva N+1 configuration. Serving the emergency control, command centre and ticket office, there are a further six 20/30Kva Galaxy 5500 UPS Systems, and for the turnstiles, there are seven 6/8Kva SRT 1Ph UPS Systems. As part of the control automation package for the pitch systems, there are also around 20-40 2-3Kva SMART UPS backing up the processors. 

    Schneider has also supplied switchgear and protection for the stadium – including 55 sub-distribution boards and 680 distribution boards. 

    “The reason for this large volume of panels is not simply for electrical safety, but to break down the measurement and control of the automation of every part of the stadium. This is to help the Club optimise energy efficiency,” says David Hall, Vice President, Power Systems, for Schneider Electric UK&I.  

    The company also provided boiler plant and chiller systems, as well as 319 lighting control panels. For the pitch, 2,300 lights were provided to enable the grass to grow while it is retracted under the stadium. 

    As one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world, the stadium also has its own data centre. Schneider Electric’s CRAC units and monitoring systems help optimise the temperature of the servers, to ensure reliable IT operations. 

    All of these systems (along with a wide range of connected equipment from third-party suppliers) are supported by Schneider’s advanced BMS and connected analytics. This includes a range of intelligent software platforms, which include:

    • EcoStruxure Asset Advisor

    • EcoStruxure Building Advisor

    • EcoStruxure Building Operation

    • EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert

    • EcoStruxure Power SCADA Operation

    According to figures cited by Schneider Electric, 53% of energy consumption is attributed to buildings and 82% of energy efficiency remains untapped. With the UK government committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, unlocking energy savings for large buildings, such as Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium, will have an important part to play. 

    Visibility is key, according to Marc Garner, Vice President, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric UK&I: “EcoStruxure provides a converged network that allows you to get control of data and make informed decisions around energy efficient actions,” he explains. “All of the assets are connected on to the network, so the estates team at Tottenham can understand exactly where there are inefficiencies, how they can optimise usage, increase productivity and extend the life cycle of their assets.”

    In addition to energy management, EcoStruxure software facilitates a predictive approach to maintenance for electrical infrastructure and potential problems can be quickly identified and addressed. For example, harmonic noise, created by devices such as computers and LEDs, can interfere with electrical equipment or cause protected devices to trip – even when they are not overloaded. Data collected via meters and analysed by the EcoStruxure software can help identify areas where there is a need to install harmonic filters. 

    Power factor also needs to be kept within certain tolerances, to avoid penalties, as well as to protect the back-up generators, and the connected analysis software is key to managing this. 

    Real-time fault reporting for lighting is also enabled. Connectivity via DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) enables the software to locate individual lamp failures to ensure efficient replacement, while the stadium’s lighting can be efficiently controlled according to the outside ambient lighting levels. 

    Ultimately, EcoStruxure allows the evaluation of live data from critical connected assets to identify potential threats. This enables the stadium to anticipate and address any issues before they become critical incidents – mitigating safety risks, avoiding unplanned downtime, avoiding operational losses and eliminating expensive maintenance interventions. In fact, Schneider Electric’s technology facilitates a staggering 5,000 data point checks, every five minutes at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium – equating to 60,000 checks per hour. 

    The infrastructure is constantly monitored from Schneider Electric’s field services bureau, which is operational 24/7 and this is backed up by a product expert on site, who is responsible for personally monitoring the stadium’s power infrastructure. During special events, this is further reinforced with extra personnel from Schneider, to ensure reliable uptime.

    With a combination of N+N redundancy, high levels of support, and real-time analytics, Tottenham Hotspur fans can now expect uninterrupted enjoyment of the game – unless, of course, Arsenal scores.


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