Case Studies

Derby Velodrome

AF Switchgear supplied a Twin Package Substation for the largest project recently undertaken in the East Midlands, the new Derby Arena and Velodrome. The 5,000-seat arena will also feature a 12-court sports hall, a gym, group exercise space and a cafe. As well as cycling, the £31m venue will host sports including basketball and double as a concert venue. The facility opened in March 2015.

The Arena’s indoor velodrome is one of only five in the UK along with the National Cycle Centre Manchester, Wales National Velodrome (Newport, South Wales), London Olympic Velodrome and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow.

The project required a quick turnaround. Even though the completion date was some time away when the order was placed, it was necessary that the building had power for the heating and ventilation at an early stage during construction, in order to maintain a controlled ambient temperature to allow the wooden track to be laid.

We were also involved with the supply of a 13M Double Package Substation and over 60 no sub and final circuit distribution boards for the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow that acted as a host venue for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

This 5,000-seat indoor arena features a hydraulically operated 200m running track, jumping and throwing areas, warm up strait and sports halls. The 2,000-seat Velodrome houses a 250m high banked cycle track with a multi-use infill area. The scheme includes a community sports centre, four floodlit outdoor sports pitches and a 1km outdoor cycle track.



Data Centres for ARK Continuity

AF Switchgear has now built five of these colourful switchboards for ARK Continuity.

ARK has two Data Centres within the UK and are currently working on a number of others.

We continue to work closely with ARK for the next phases of their projects



Strathclyde University

AF Switchgear secured the order to supply equipment for The University of Strathclyde,Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow.

The project consists of six LV switchboards and is scheduled for delivery in the early part of 2014. We have worked throughout the design stage with the consultants. This is very much a flagship project for the university in conjunction with its many industrial partners to work side-by-side in a state-of-the-art building in the heart of Glasgow.Together they will research solutions to challenges in sectors central to economic regeneration in Scotland and further afield, including power and energy, photonics and sensors, advanced engineering, pharmaceutical manufacturing and bio-nano systems.

TIC is based at the heart of the city and will become the cornerstone of Scottish Enterprise’s new International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ)-a global economic hub to bring innovative businesses to Glasgow to sit alongside the University.’



Red Bull Racing

We have completed two projects for Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes.

The first project comprised of an outdoor containerised package substation.

The GRP housing was sited outside the existing Building 3 to provide a power upgrade. Building 3 is occupied by Red Bull Technology which is involved in many forms of sport including stunt flying, motocross, stunt bikes, BMX and diving . It was also the major sponsor and driving force being Felix Baumgartner’s historic freefall from the edge of space last year.

The second project involved Switchgear in Building 2 which is entirely occupied by the race car construction division of the very successful Formula 1 team which employs over 600 people. The project was to provide a power upgrade to the gearbox and pneumatics building areas for the Formula 1 cars.


Walkie-Talkie Building - London

Another flagship project in 2012 was the supply of systems for installation in The Walkie Talkie Building being constructed on Fenchurch Street in the heart of The City of London.

Canary Wharf Management and Land Securities have set up a joint venture to construct a 37-storey, 650,000 sq ft tower shaped like a walkie talkie.

Our contract was to supply 13–Package Substations, 51–Switchboards and a complete Energy Management System.

London Cable Cars

An interesting project in 2012 was the supply of switchgear for the London Cable Cars. The cable cars were built at a cost of £60,000,000 on a tight timescale to ensure they were ready for the Olympics. They travel over 1 Kilometre from Greenwich to The Royal Dock, passing over The Thames at a height of 30 metres, with a capacity of up to 2500 people per hour.

London Olympics 2012

AF Switchgear supplied switchboards to the communications hub (known as a Data Hotel) for the 2012 London Olympics. This communications hub provided the mobile phone SMS and MMS services for all the large mobile phone companies such as O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-mobile and many more during the Olympics.

The Data Hotel was a temporary building on the Olympic Park in London equipped with the latest mobile phone communication servers. It had the capability to supply coverage to in excess of four billion mobile phone users, of which many subscribed to the Olympics, via their mobile phone apps to give them the latest schedules, results, news, gossip, up-dates, pictures and video clips of medal ceremonies, crucial victories and all other information required to enjoy the London 2012 Olympics experience.



JCB Academy

This JCB Academy project was undertaken in conjunction with a long-standing client Imtech. Not a significantly large project but an interesting one all the same.

It is a sad statistic that Britain’s declining manufacturing industry now accounts for less than 13pc of GDP (Gross domestic product) down from 25pc in 1979 and also the fact that the current education system seems to be falling short of what industry needs for the future.

JCB decided to do something about the situation by sponsoring a state academy, that opened its doors to 120, year 10 students and 50, sixth formers.

The JCB academy will be home to 540 young people who want to specialise in engineering and manufacturing.

Situated adjacent to JCB’s headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, the Academy is part housed in the Grade II listed Tutbury Mill, with a new annexe housing the main classrooms. Built in 1871 by Industrial Revolution entrepreneur Richard Arkwright, renovation of the picturesque site began in December 2009.

Apart from us building the conventional switchgear for the new academy we were also called in two weeks before project handover to provide specialist engineering assistance and to manufacture a control panel which we designed and built in 7 days, this control panel was to be used in conjunction with a modern-day version of one of the world’s oldest engineering wonders, an ‘Archimedes Screw’.

The device, shaped like a giant corkscrew, was first used over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece.

The project incorporates an Archimedes screw to create a fully functional water turbine. This will generate up to 85% of the centre of learning’s electricity needs and will save up to 64 tonnes of CO² compared to using mains electricity.

It uses the fall of water from the River Dove, which runs through the site, in the same way as the conventional mill used to do for centuries, but instead of a water wheel, the new installation uses an Archimedes screw. This latest version – weighs 13.5 tonnes and measures 36ft by 10ft

The Archimedes Screw is traditionally used as a means of raising water or granular materials from a low level to a higher level, driven by an electric motor.

However, it can be used in “reverse”, where the weight of the water forces the screw to rotate, generating electricity from the electric motor, acting as an asynchronous generator, which can be used to power the local site load, or exported to the grid.

The Archimedes Screw is ideal for this purpose, as it is tolerant of muddy water and gentle enough for fish to pass through unharmed.

Harry Potter Experience

AF Switchgear supplied switchboards, panelboards and distribution equipment to the Harry Potter Experience at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesdon.

Harry Potter is the name the people of all ages are familiar with, and as well as the best-selling books the film series is the biggest grossing film series of all time. A new facility has been built at the Warner Brother Studios in Leavesdon, North London.

The facility allows the public to go behind-the-scenes and showcases a huge array of scenes and props from the successful film series, it amounts to over ten-years' worth of Harry Potter history. It also reveals some of the closely guarded secrets of the special effects and breath-taking animatronics that made Harry Potter popular all over the world. The attraction opened in Spring 2012.