The Singapore Grand Prix promised fast-paced excitement as powerful cars tore down the pathways of Marina Bay Street. Since its commencement in 2008, the F1 race has been a highly-anticipated event for Singaporeans and international tourists. Financially, the Singapore Grand Prix has netted the nation more than S$1.1 billion in tourism receipts.
For drivers, the race proved to be one of the most challenging circuits on the F1 calendar. Besides the heat and humidity, F1 drivers must be mentally prepared for the short straights and tough corners. In other words, they can’t afford a slip of concentration throughout the race, which means the floodlight lighting up the circuit must be operationally perfect.
In addition to lighting, the event organiser must ensure that broadcasting, communication, security, and other electrical systems are functioning well to ensure a safe and successful event. Yet, supplying adequate, clean and consistent power to the night circuit proves challenging, even for a nation known for its stable transmission grid.
So, what measures did the organiser take to ensure the Singapore Grand Prix remains successful for consecutive years? How do they solve teething electrical problems that might affect the driver’s experience?
Read on and discover how AVR proves to be a reliable power solution for the popular night race.
Challenges of Organising An F1 Night Race
The Singapore Grand Prix entertained hundreds of thousands of spectators with high-octane finishes of multi-million dollar cars. While the race lasted roughly two hours, preparation for the adrenaline-boosting event began several months before. It was a mammoth task that required the collaboration of several parties to put up the show.
Logistic companies face challenges coordinating the transportation of safety barriers, tents, fences and other equipment the race requires. They need a sizeable workforce to move and assemble race infrastructure from a storage space. On top of that, the maintenance crew inspected the 5.073 km track several times and repaired it as required to meet F1 race standards.
Then, the tough part begins. Six hundred fifty tonnes of F1 equipment are shipped and transported to the venue a week before the race. Broadcast centres, which are pivotal for screening the race to hundreds of millions of fans worldwide, are also part of the setup checklist. The same applies to road closure, which began a couple of days prior and involves coordinated traffic diversion.
While such challenges are common for F1 races, the need for brightly lit tracks separates the Singapore Grand Prix from the rest. Besides enabling driver visibility, the lighting system is instrumental in preventing glare, particularly on wet surfaces. For that, the organiser requires 1,600 floodlights connected with 108,432 meters of power cables.
Lives are at Stake: Why Quality Power Supply are Crucial for Race Tracks
Including an extensive lighting system further complicates the power requirements for the Marina Bay circuit. On top of maintaining consistent lighting, the organiser must ensure that other electrical equipment functions optimally before, during and after the race. For example, communications between drivers and race engineers rely on radio broadcasting infrastructure, which derives power from incoming mains.
In an F1 race, particularly on the challenging streets of Marina Bay, winners are decided by precision and speed. While drivers focus on racing to the finish line, race engineers and mechanics work tirelessly to optimise the car’s performance behind the scenes. They analyse data from the vehicle’s sensors and deduce the next steps to give their driver the winning edge.
A team’s effort can be hampered by the slightest inconsistency in the voltage that powers the entire F1 venue. Similarly, the safety of drivers, personnel and spectators relies on precision voltage delivered to the respective electrical outlets and generators. On this note, voltage fluctuation is one of the common culprits that trouble F1 races. Left unaddressed, voltage fluctuation spells troubles for all stakeholders in races like the Singapore Grand Prix. We explain why below.
What is Voltage Fluctuation?
Voltage fluctuation is a phenomenon where the power supplied to an electrical load fails to retain a nominal level. Instead of providing consistent voltage, fluctuations cause the voltage level to dip or rise momentarily within or beyond the tolerance range. Some obvious manifestations of voltage fluctuations are flickering lights and computer brownouts. In some cases, severe voltage fluctuation may cause equipment to fail or degrade prematurely.
Power electrical engineers attributed voltage fluctuation to several factors.
- Voltage fluctuation can propagate from the local distribution grid, particularly if it struggles to cope with excessive loads.
- Rapid changing of load current within the same electrical network may also cause the voltage to fluctuate.
- Loose wiring and damaged electrical devices are also causes of voltage fluctuations.
- Voltage might also fluctuate because of electrical interference by connected or adjacent loads.
- Lengthy transmission lines between the distribution grid and the premise electrical system may cause voltage fluctuations.
- Strong winds and lightning surges may also lead to fluctuating voltages.
Because of its unpredictability, voltage fluctuation can severely impact the preparation and execution of the Singapore Grand Prix. As mentioned, the event consumes a large amount of electricity to support various equipment. Besides illuminating the racing track, the race teams draw substantial power from the mains to their mobile data centres.
Given how a stable power supply is vital to ensuring a successful race, the entire infrastructure must be unaffected by fluctuating voltage. Therefore, the organiser commits to suppressing fluctuating voltage and preventing disruption to scores of expensive and sensitive equipment with AVRs.
How does an AVR mitigate voltage fluctuation?
An automatic voltage regulator (AVR) is an electrical device that engineers use to provide consistent voltage amidst fluctuation in the incoming mains. AVRs ensure that all electrical loads operate at their nominal voltage rating over a wide input range. They prevent voltage anomalies from affecting load performance.
Most AVRs usually consist of an auto-transformer and a control circuit. The control circuit samples the output voltage and compares it to the input. Then, it corrects the difference by automatically adjusting the transformer’s winding ratio. Thanks to quick response, the AVR output produces a continuously stable voltage despite fast-changing input variation.
Both servo and magnetic induction AVRs generally abide by this principle to ensure the stability of connected loads. Servo AVRs use a servo motor to adjust the transformer’s ratio, while magnetic induction regulators apply electromagnetic principles to achieve the same result.
Industrial facilities favour servo and magnetic induction AVRs for varying reasons. Servo regulator balances cost, precision, and reliability for most use cases. For example, a servo-based AVR can provide up to ±1% precision over ±50% input range. Meanwhile, magnetic induction AVRs are an excellent option for installations in harsh environments. They are designed for robust operations and require virtually no maintenance.
AVRs are a wise and worthy investment with huge returns in high-stake events like the Singapore Grand Prix. It allows the race to proceed smoothly, unhindered by voltage anomalies that originate internally or externally, Organisers can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that the automated voltage conditioning device secures all equipment. More importantly, AVRs allow F1 racers to compete with good visibility at all times.
Voltage Victories: Success Stories with Ashley Edison
Ashley Edison is an international solution provider of power line conditioning products. With decades of technical experience, we help companies worldwide resolve challenging power issues, including voltage fluctuations. Our range of AVRs is carefully engineered to provide clients with clean, reliable and long-lasting voltage regulation.
Throughout the decades, Ashley Edison has charted stellar records in various industries. For example:
We helped Glavcom, a joinery manufacturer in Australia, mitigate high reactive energy and power surges with the Protector Series – SESL 3Phase Automatic Voltage Regulator. The AVR stabilises Glavcom’s incoming supply, resulting in significant cost savings across its operations.
SP Group, the Singapore national grid operator, grappled with a voltage drop in its underground transmission line. They use the MVSI Series – Automatic Voltage Stabiliser to sustain consistent voltage delivery without replacing the cables.
BP International was facing voltage fluctuation because of expansion activities in its Georgia refinery. The petroleum giant installed our AVR to ensure stable operation despite load changes.
Safeguarding the Radiance of The Singapore Grand Prix
Hosting the Singapore Grand Prix for several years was no small accomplishment. Despite their best effort, lighting up the streets with thousands of floodlights at 3,000-lux levels is challenging. With several electrical loads sharing the same power system, the floodlights inevitably flicker because of fluctuating voltage.
Our solutions augment the preparation that our client committed to ensuring a successful night race.
|In 2014, we installed customised units of servo regulators at each power distribution unit to stabilise the voltage. The move results in consistent brightness across the track and provides clean and precise voltage for communications, CCTV and other essential systems.|
Power stability is a top consideration when hosting notable events like the Singapore Grand Prix. It ensures that all operations run smoothly and provides an unforgettable experience for the spectators. We’ve explored how AVR proves to be an indispensable solution to delivering clean, precise and reliable power supply for events infrastructures.
With our field-proven experience, Ashley Edison is in the best position to help you secure your next event. Explore the high-performance AVRs that we offer here. Or talk to our team to resolve your power issues.