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Technology trends – lighting for sports facilities

Andrew Brister 10 August 2011

Edgbaston has played its first game under new floodlights following a £30 million redevelopment of the cricket ground. TFA looks at the latest design in sports floodlighting.

The new floodlights at Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, were used for the first time in July as Warwickshire staged its first floodlit match against Leicestershire as part of the ground’s recent £30 million redevelopment.

The floodlights were switched on following the crowd’s countdown by Warwickshire’s under 11’s top bowler, 10 year old Sahal Malbernkar, Warwickshire cricketer Darren Maddy and Andrew Morris-Richardson, group managing director at Abacus Lighting.

The state-of-the-art floodlights are seen as a big opportunity for the ground as it can now look forward to hosting more evening matches and welcoming bigger crowds. They were specially manufactured and installed by Abacus who was also responsible for recent installations at Lords, Kent, The Oval and Trent Bridge. The unique cantilevered masts incorporate 320 Challenger 3 floodlights with precision reflector systems to ensure tight beam control, reducing overspill and directing light into the ground where it is needed and most importantly away from the surrounding local residential area.@page_break@

Colin Povey, chief executive at Warwickshire County Cricket Club commented: “The new floodlighting and redevelopment of the ground will create opportunities for the Club and put Edgbaston and the city of Birmingham on the cricketing map, bringing supporters from all over the world to the city.

“Going forward Edgbaston will be able to host ECB domestic matches playing into the hours of darkness, as well as complying with ICC regulations for Twenty20 matches, which means we can host ICC World Twenty20 games at Edgbaston.”

Paul Wilson, UK sports director at Abacus Lighting commented: “It is tremendous that our company has played a major role in the development of these world class facilities. Our floodlight and mast design is state of the art and manufactured here in the UK – it’s completely unique to Edgbaston.”@page_break@

Alan Jenvey, engineering manager at Abacus Lighting explained the design: “Dealing with the cantilever forces of self-movement and twist provided us with previously unmet challenges. The usual tapering joints found in such a mast were replaced with a whole new internal bolting system and shear pins in order to withstand the forces of the cantilever design. The 45m mast has to withstand a dead load of six tonnes of cantilevered arm and a further two tonnes of floodlighting– and that’s before considering the forces of side wind which creates twist.”

A winning performance all round.

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