Derby Velodrome

AF Switchgear supplied several twin Package Substations for one of the largest projects undertaken in the East Midlands, namely the Derby Arena and Velodrome.

The 5,000-seat arena features a 12-court sports hall, a gym, group exercise space and a cafe. As well as cycling, the venue hosts sports including basketball and doubles up as a concert venue. The indoor Velodrome is one of only five in the UK along with the National Cycle Centre in Manchester, the Wales National Velodrome in Newport, South Wales, the London Olympic Velodrome in Stratford City and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

The project called for fast track manufacturing to enable a quick ‘power-on’ date to facilitate the heating and ventilation aspect during construction, purely to maintain a controlled ambient temperature to allow the wooden track to be laid and then settled.

In addition to the numerous substations at Derby, AF Switchgear also supplied over 60no. sub and final circuit distribution boards for the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow that acted as a host venue for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The indoor arena section features a hydraulically operated 200m running track, jumping and throwing areas, warm up straight and sports halls. The Velodrome houses a 250m high banked cycle track with a multi-use infill area. The scheme also includes a community sports centre, four floodlit outdoor sports pitches and a 1km outdoor cycle track.

JCB Academy

The JCB Academy project was undertaken in partnership with a long-standing client of AF Switchgear, Imtech. To promote UK engineering and education JCB decided to sponsor an Academy opening its doors to Year 10, 11 and 12 students, accommodating up to 540 people.

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.

In addition to the main LV switchboards, AF Switchgear were called in to provide specialist engineering assistance and to manufacture a control panel to run a modern version of one of the world’s oldest engineering wonders, an Archimedes Screw.

The device shaped like a giant corkscrew, was used for this project to create a fully functional water turbine. Weighing in at 13.3 tonnes, the screw generates up to 85% of the centre’s electricity saving up to 64 tonnes of CO² compared to using mains electricity.

Approx. 50% of the water is derived from the River Dove which runs through the site with the weight of the water forcing the screw to rotate, generating electricity acting as an asynchronous generator. This in turn, powers the local site load and can export to the grid when needed.

No.20 Fenchurch Street

AF Switchgear was selected to supply the complete power distribution system for No 20. Fenchurch Street, better known as the Walkie Talkie Building, due to the buildings distinctive shape and situated in the City of London.

Designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, Canary Wharf Management and Land Securities set up a joint venture to construct the £200m, 525ft tall building consisting of 38 floors plus a high level Sky Garden.

AF Switchgear’s contract was to supply and install 13no.Package Substations, 51no. Switchboards and a complete Energy Management System.

Harry Potter

AF Switchgear supplied multiple switchboards, panel boards and distribution equipment to the officially named ‘Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter’, based at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden situated in the county of Hertfordshire.

To honour the best-selling book and film series (the biggest grossing film series of all time) a new attraction was built at the former Leavesden Film Studios which was acquired by Warner Brothers in 2010 investing £110,000,000 to give the plot a complete refurbishment.

The former 1940’s aerodrome, spread over a 200-acre site offers flexible filming space in addition to the experience. The facility allows the public to go ‘behind the scenes’ and showcases a huge array of sets and props from the film series amounting to over ten-years-worth of Harry Potter memorabilia.

The experience reveals some of the closely guarded secrets, special effects and breath-taking animatronics that made Harry Potter the global phenomenon it is today. The attraction opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2013, regularly attracts over 40,000 visitors every week.

London Olympics

AF Switchgear were selected to supply the LV switchboards to power the communications hub known as the Data Hotel, to facilitate essential communications for the 2012 London Olympics.

This communications hub provided mobile phone SMS and MMS services for all major mobile phone companies such as O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, EE and many more during the Olympics.

Situated at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London the Data Hotel was a temporary building equipped with the latest mobile phone communication server technology. The facility had the capability to supply coverage to over four billion mobile phones, of which many users subscribed to the Olympics event via mobile phone applications.

The apps provided real time information featuring the latest schedules for each event, results, news, gossip, photos and video clips of all the medal ceremonies, crucial victories, world records plus any other related information so sports fans from around the globe could enjoy the full London 2012 Olympics experience.

The Emirates Air Line

AF Switchgear were selected to supply the LV switchgear package for the London cable car project.

Sponsored by Emirates Airlines and built by Doppelmayr, the entire cable car system and Gondola stations were built at a cost of approx.£60,000,000.

They cable car link connecting the Royal Docks to the East and Greenwich to the West, was built within a tight timescale to ensure it was ready for the London 2012 Olympics.

Travelling over 1 Kilometre, the Gondola’s pass over the River Thames at a height of 30 metres.

At full capacity, the Emirates Air Line was designed to carry up to 2,500 people per hour or 260,000 people per week at peak times.

KAO Data

KAO Data situated in KAO Park, Harlow, Essex is a site of historical significance witnessing one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the post-war era – the invention of the Fibre Optic Cable. The discovery in 1966 was so significant that Sir Charles Kao (affectionately known as the Father of Fibre Optics) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009.

Work began in 2017 on the £200m, 35-acre campus replacing existing laboratories owned by Northern Telecom with immediate upgrade of the site substation increasing power capacity to 43.5MVA feeding four freestanding data centre buildings.

AF Switchgear were appointed to supply high quality switchgear built to the latest IEC 61439-2 standards, meeting the demands for the modern Data Centre whilst meeting the client’s concurrent maintainability requirements, critical to maintain uptime.

Standardisation of design & delivery were an important factor to consider with repeatable design and standardisation required across the facility. In addition, visual coding was used in the way of clear and bold colours applied to power equipment to assist circuit identification within the A, B & C distributed redundant power scheme.

Phase 1 in 2017, AF Switchgear supplied 2 x 2000kVA Package Substations, 1 x 1600kVA Package Substation, 3 x UPS Output Switchboards, 2 x Landlords Switchboard plus 2 x Landlords UPS Switchboards.

Phase 2 in 2019 resulted in a significant design change. The three packaged Substations remained the same, but changes were made to the UPS Input/Output board designs, integrating them. This not only saved space within the switch rooms themselves but provided additional IT technical space to complement the existing Data Halls for the client.

Strathclyde University

AF Switchgear secured the order to supply a range of LV switchgear for The University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow.

The project outline was to supply and install six primary LV switchboards, working closely with the appointed consulting engineers throughout the design stage process to meet customer requirements.

This was considered a flagship project for the University in conjunction with its many industrial partners, who work side-by-side in a state-of-the-art building in the heart of Glasgow.

Key stakeholders research solutions to challenges in sectors central to economic regeneration in Scotland and further afield, including power, energy, photonics, sensors, advanced engineering, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and bio-nano systems.

The Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) is based at the heart of the city and is 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

AF Switchgear have completed two projects for Red Bull Racing at their Factory HQ in Milton Keynes.

The first project was to provide a much-needed power upgrade to Building 3, occupied by Red Bull Technology. This division supports a range of Red Bull associated sports including stunt flying, motocross, stunt bikes, BMX and diving and was also the major sponsor and driving force behind Felix Baumgartner’s historic freefall from the edge of space in 2012.

For this project AF Switchgear supplied an outdoor containerised package substation consisting of an 11kV Transformer, Ring Main Unit, LV switchgear package and a weather-proof outdoor GRP housing.

The second project involving AF Switchgear was for Building 2, to provide a power upgrade to the Gearbox and Pneumatics areas. Building 2 is entirely occupied by the racing car construction division of Red Bull’s Formula 1 team, employing over 600 people.

For this project, AF Switchgear supplied bespoke manufactured LV power distribution equipment all designed to customer requirements.