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ABB creates ‘intelligent’ football stadium for FK Austria

ABB was appointed to transform Austria’s Generali Arena, originally built in 1925, into an intelligent, future-proofed venue that incorporates the latest in smart building technology and energy efficient power distribution.

This is also the first sustainable football venue in Austria. It was retrofitted in co-operation with the Austrian Sustainable Building Council, who helped with planning the design and implementation, which includes a photovoltaic system on the roof of the north stand.

The stadium’s entire electrification value chain – from medium-voltage distribution to each individual socket – has been raised to an advanced level.

ABB’s SafePlus (10kV) compact switchgear provides safe power distribution in the arena. This maintenance-free medium-voltage system is completely gas-insulated and encloses all live parts with a steel capsule, which optimises both reliability and personal safety.

For more power in the electrical system, ABB provided two 1000 kVA dry transformers, which comply with the latest energy efficiency standards of the European Union.

Instead of oil, the transformers use a vacuum casting resin technology developed by ABB for enhanced cooling. This minimises the risk of fire and is ideal for the likes of stadiums, offshore drilling rigs or other confined spaces.

Extra safety and energy savings have also been achieved with the inclusion of ABB components such as the Emax 2 circuit-breakers and InLine II fuse switch-disconnectors.

To ensure highly reliable low-voltage mains distribution, 21 ABB TriLine-E series switch cabinets were installed. The modularly expandable system ensures low operating costs with high reliability and long maintenance intervals.

ABB i-bus KNX system for the control of intelligent buildings, allows all components of lighting, shading, heating, air conditioning and ventilation in the stadium to be networked and work together bidirectionally. Combined with integrated load management, this means maximum energy savings are achieved.

ABB 2gang DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) gateways are also used for lighting control so that the complete floodlight system is now integrated into the KNX system and can be controlled from an easy to use App.

For an enhanced visitor experience, ABB installed a comprehensive range of intelligent and energy-saving building control solutions.

Highlights include Busch-Presence Detectors for light and climate control, which have a broad and sensitive detection range. allowing the much-improved VIP areas to be controlled via integrated Busch-SmartTouch panels.

For an extra personal touch, light switches in the VIP area and other strategic points around the stadium have been designed in the club’s famous violet colours and fans can even purchase them in the club shop to install at home.

After two years of construction, the 24-time national champions have now delivered a new intelligent and sustainable football stadium, which has boosted the club’s profile.

ABB’s connected safety and energy efficiency initiatives, coupled with expanding seating capacity to 17,500 and plans to redesign the training ground and build a new regional youth centre, means it now meets the standard of an UEFA four-star arena, which even permits the staging of Champions League semi-finals.

Costing some €42 million to re-build, the north stand holds 4,100 spectators and includes 28 VIP boxes, two sky boxes and two boxes for dignitaries, plus an underground car park for 370 VIPs. The east stand holds 5,050 spectators and houses the fan shop, museum and a restaurant, while the west stand seats 5,600 spectators.

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