How to prevent stadium power failures

Power Control
19 Feb 2021

Football is the UK’s national sport and has an aggregate live attendance of over 33million. For many, football is far more than just a game, it is part of their DNA. Attending live games with family and friends is tradition and not merely a hobby. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has put a temporary stop to having live spectators but defiant against the obstacles presented by the global pandemic, ‘the show must go on’, and thanks to Sky Sports, all Premier League fixtures have been streamed live.

Power Failures in Stadiums

Aside from the removal of pitch side fans and the additional health and safety protocols, the football industry has remained undeterred and continues to invest in their teams and facilities. Clubs have persevered with pre-Covid plans to develop, expand and build new stadiums, and are placing an even greater emphasis on the stability of their electrical infrastructures. This comes after one of the greatest football cliff-hangers of all time. Where just a few short months ago a power failure struck just as a penalty kick was taken – the pitch was plunged into total darkness and no one knew the outcome of the strike. A stark reminder of how exposed football stadiums are to power disturbances.

Although less frequent, power failures are still occurring, and stadium managers need to remain committed to improving their backup power frameworks. This starts by establishing resilient power protection strategies and working with knowledgeable solution partners like Power Control Ltd.

Preventing a Power Failure

Working with football clubs from all leagues to safeguard their facilities, Power Control understands the multifaceted needs of stadiums. With complex electrical infrastructures, stadiums are incredibly vulnerable to power anomalies, interruptions and outages. Identifying each application susceptible to failure will help ensure operational continuity. These include all items that require power from PC’s, phones and CCTV to turnstiles, broadcasting equipment, lighting, disabled access and lifts. Each with varying levels of sensitivity, they all require backup power solutions.

Most football stadiums will already have some level of emergency power provision, which can vary from a single phase UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) unit, typically found supporting a standalone piece of equipment such as a computer or a CCTV camera, to multi-megawatt UPS systems that are used to backup entire comms rooms. Reviewing what is in place and mapping out the complete network could result in more efficient solutions being adopted, which would in turn achieve both efficiency and financial savings.

Maintenance is Key

Where UPS equipment is already on site, it is important to be mindful of their condition and regular servicing must be part of routine maintenance plans. UPS systems are made up of four core components; UPS batteries, static switch, inverter and rectifier, which all degrade over time and will require replacement during the UPS lifecycle. Should any of these components fail, the UPS unit will fail also.

Power Control has been developing and implementing power protection strategies since 1994 and has relationships with football stadiums across the country that span almost as long as its history. In addition to project management, the company provides comprehensive maintenance and servicing solutions for all sizes, makes and models of UPS and has a nationwide team of technical engineers available to carry out immediate onsite works.

Recognised industry wide for its extensive technical experience and knowledge of UPS, Power Control is proud to be partnered with leading UPS manufacturers Legrand, Huawei, Borri Spa and CertaUPS. These partnerships allow the company to offer one of the largest and most sophisticated UPS portfolios in the industry, whilst also benefiting from direct manufacturer factory training with immediate technical backup.