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Victory at the Ryder Cup

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Planning for an event of the magnitude of the Ryder Cup takes a long time. Indeed, initial consultations for the 2006 event started as early as August 2005. However, where major golfing tournaments are concerned, everything is on a grand scale. The movement alone of over 106km of distribution cabling, including heavy duty cable, hundreds of panels rated up to 2000Amps and tens of generators of up to 1250kVA is a feat of logistics in itself.
To stage the event, the K Club required in excess of 12MW (17MVA) of backed up power. To put this figure in context, enough to power a small town. Like a suburban installation, the cable runs around the K Club could not cross roads or fairways, nor impede or threaten the safety of the 40,000-plus spectators each day as they trekked around the course. For this reason cabling was minimised by having a great number of locally sited generators – all of which added to the planning process.
Having completed the electrical and temperature control requirements for the British Open Golf Championship at Hoylake in Liverpool, Aggreko had to manage the transfer of equipment from that site direct to the K Club.
The manpower required to effect such a large installation is considerable. Every piece of equipment was serviced and thoroughly tested before leaving for Ireland. The advance team of engineers went to the K Club as early as July. During build up a small army of engineers was on site at any one time and three engine specialists were permanently resident at the site for two weeks, before and during the event.
Although the build up for the event started in August, this left Aggreko very little time in terms of completing the installation. The distribution cabling for each structure (whether it be a temporary rigid building, tented area or other public facility requiring power) could not be started until the structure was completed. Clearly, the building process is a phased one and Aggreko had no control over the completion schedules for these structures. The solution was a novel ‘plug and play’ arrangement, devised to enable connections to panels and the mains. Even busbar connections were Powerlock fitted allowing a speedy installation once each structure was erected.
Generators were supplied, ranging in output from 15kVA up to synchronised pairs of 1250kVA sets. Two of the 1250kVA sets were equipped with fuel cells to enable uninterrupted power to the chillers for the hospitality areas. A total of 8.5MW of cooling and heating was required for the hospitality areas alone and the loads had to be carefully calculated to cope with huge increases in power required at peak periods such as lunchtimes.
Smaller canopied generators were equipped with high capacity fuel tanks. These sets were selected because of their incredibly quiet running since all the equipment around the site had to be unobtrusive in terms of both location and noise: With some generators positioned very close to the greens, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson would not have appreciated having his concentration broken as he holed the winning putt!
Power quality is also an issue for such events. Where a clean and stable supply is required, due to the intolerances to fluctuations by sensitive equipment (such as in a media communications centre), generators with automatic back-up were favoured over the less reliable existing grid supply.
Service and maintenance crews were permanently on site leading up to and during the event. Aggreko provided the fuelling for the generators – a task requiring the continuous use of fully laden fuel tankers and a specially adapted 4×4 vehicle for more remote locations. So huge is the event, that thousands of litres of diesel were consumed running the power plant, fork lift trucks, JCBs and other equipment.
Fuelling the generators was carried out in accordance with ADR standards. As a final, albeit unlikely, back up, disaster recovery partners were on hand.
As far as the public were concerned the most vital thing, apart from providing the power, heating and cooling, was to remain unseen and unheard. Where cables traversed public footpaths, they were buried or crossing ramps were provided.

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