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Turf Club

Kranji the only race course in Singapore means the stakes for the operators are high to provide the latest results and odds to visitors and broadcast viewers alike. When the Singapore Turf Club released the tender to upgrade to racecourse facility. Philips Dynalite had to crack the whip to meet the challenges of a field of competitors.

Horse racing in Singapore has a long history, dating back to colonial times with the first race taking place in 1843. The Singapore Turf Club (STC), managed by the Malaysian Racing Association has been in its current location at Kranji since 1999. The original facilities and track design were hailed as state-of-the-art at the time and received a recognition award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for its ‘fun and whimsical’ design .

The racecourse complex comprises six tracks. The principal track is used for long-and �short course races over 2,000m or 1,800m. A 1,500m polytrack permits all-weather racing and four tracks are available for training purposes. The visitors’ areas and corporate are equally impressive. When commissioned in 2000, the course was floodlit with more than 40 lighting towers, fitted with 1,800 WattArenaVision luminaires from Philips.

In 2007, the Singapore government released a tender to upgrade the infrastructure for the racecourse. A key criteria was the monitoring and control of the lighting towers, to ensure that lighting towers were secure and available for training and race meeting at all times. With just a short time frame in which to respond , Control Tech Asia , the long standing Philips Dynalite VAR for Singapore ,was able to design a lighting control system based on core products and technical expertise.

To maximise security, STC required triple redundancy to ensure that the lights would remain on when needed. In addition, the flood-lighting system needed to have both timed and manual capabilities for onsite and remote operation. Monitoring the energy consumption of each lighting tower was a fundamental element of the tender as the STC strives to improve the facility�s overall energy efficiency.

“ The overall system has three networks to provide the level of redundancy that STC required, ” said Ray Bond, Business Development Manager, SouthEast Aisa for Philips Dynalite. “Normally, we would run the controller over single bus network, but in this case there were two existing networks wired underground. The third layer needed to sit above the original two on a wireless network, giving three streams of data to guarantee the system would remain on when needed. ”

“We used an intelligent building as an analogy when designing the system. Usually there would be one control room, but in this case, there are three, giving 200% redundancy! Making sure only one was in operation and not overridden by one of the redundant networks also needed to be considered, ” Bond said.

A key challenge for installation team was overcoming access restrictions. During installation, the racecourse was fully operational. There was no opportunity to ‘shut’ the facilities to allow the installers the freedom to connect, test and commission. The lighting control system was installed in the background until it was ready to be switched over. It had to be 100 per cent operational, first time.

The Philips Dynalite tender submission by their experienced VAR-Control Tech Asia, utilised off-the �self products, but it was the ability to integrate with an existing legacy power system and provide a maintenance agreement post- commissioning that gave the company the green light.

The product range used to control the lighting towers included the DDRC 1220-GL and DDRC420 Din Rail relay controllers over the Firetide 5.8Ghz wireless network equipment. Three desktop work stations as well as three maintenance laptop, running the Philips Dynalite EnvisionManger and MapView software were supplied to oversee and manage the system.

Monitoring of energy consumption and component failure and integration with third party power meters required the Philips Dynalite team to write special software. Each tower’s monitoring system in housed in outdoor enclosures, linking by cable and wireless network. By linking the towers, the maintenance crew can readily establish which tower is exhibiting abnormalities, based on irregular power consumption behaviour and respond accordingly.

The use of outdoor enclosures to house the equipment in the high heat and humidity of Singapore presented a whole new set of challenges. “Some of our equipment has been modified to tolerate the conditions to literally protect them form melting in the heat, ” said Bond. “Being a tropical environment, a huge amount of protection has also been added to cope with the high risk of lightning strike. ”

The second phase of the Kranji racecourse redevelopment will focus on control of the broadcast monitors around the track. As racegoers move around the complex, individual races and betting information are constantly broadcast and updated on the displays. With the monitors full integrated, energy consumption of each screen can be monitored based on the amount of current drawn. “Power consumption monitoring is rapidly becoming a core requirement for many businesses in the region. With monitoring equipment and energy–efficient LEDs and luminaires, we can provide companies with opportunities for improvement in their energy savings, ” concluded Bond.

The project at Singapore Turf Club racecourse highlights the increasing demand by many companies for quality products and service. The ability to adapt to specific client requirements allowed Control Tech Asia to meet the unique and complex needs of Singapore Turf Club. The flexibility of Philips Dynalite lighting control equipment, and its capacity to integrate to and optimise, existing system, will ensure that the Kranji racecourse continues to be the number one horse racing venue in the region.