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Powering up the ABB Formula E championships

Heard of Formula 1? Well, we’re now part of the growing Formula E family, a class of racing solely for electric cars, with 11 teams, 22 drivers and 9 global manufacturers competing at locations across the world.


Heard of Formula 1? Well, we’re now part of the growing Formula E family, a class of racing solely for electric cars, with 11 teams, 22 drivers and 9 global manufacturers competing at locations across the world.

If you missed the story in the Yorkshire Post here’s how our electrical support is helping power the next evolution of motor racing.


Luxury hospitality in exotic locations 

The main part of this project was installing and maintaining the electrics for a structure approximately 20 metres long and 8 metres wide. This structure was a hospitality tent for fans and attendees of the championship to enjoy the gadgets that this year’s sponsor, ABB, has to offer for the electrical industry. These gadgets included smart home devices, electric car chargers and robotics.

In technical terms, we installed 16A circuits fed from a 63A 3 phase 415v distro box, which is similar to a fuse board that splits the 3 phase into single phase 230V circuits. The circuits were run out on a 16A cee-form plug and sockets, like an extension lead. These circuits were for lights, TV sockets, gaming chairs, car charger and the fan for the inflatable skins that slid through the structure to inflate the tent. We then had to install the 8 lighting tracks, each with 3 spots on them.

Of course, a prestigious electrical vehicle race has to showcase the best in commercial electric cars which meant installing and building staging and charge points for both BMW and Jaguar top of the line EV cars.

Health and Safety is always a primary consideration and, in unusual environments like Marrakech and Hong Kong where temperatures can soar, maintenance of the electrics was a big part of the daily role. Everything electrical detail was checked on a regular basis to look out for fluctuations due to temperature and other factors.

From uploading the truck to the finished structure, it took 3 days to complete the build and once the race was completed, the de-rigging process began. This 2 day process involved careful deconstruction and storage of all the electrical equipment ready for shipping to the next location.

 

Overcoming challenges like a champion

We are always prepared for extra challenges when working abroad. Working in scorching weather at more extreme temperatures than we’re used to here in the UK, adapting to the new conditions is the most challenging part of being involved in a project like Formula E.

Communication is key when working on complex projects, especially as there are lots of teams and departments involved from all over the globe. Local crews assisting with the build meant communicating through language barriers to get the job done.

The project required someone multi-skilled  to be able to job from one job to the next while adapting quickly and efficiently to different situations and challenges. BCS electrician, Ian, was the person for the job as his wide portfolio of jobs working include the London 2012 Olympics and the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.


On track to finish with excellence

The next stop on our Formula E journey is Sanya in China and we’ll be posting updates over on our Instagram page as Ian travels around the course locations with ABB, helping them cross the finish line every time.