Danish football club FCN now has the first ever FIFA approved artificial football pitch with electrical heating.
The new pitch at Farum Park was inaugurated just in time for FCN’s 2012 Champions League games. With a thin but robust electric heating installation placed directly under the artificial turf, the FCN team is guaranteed perfect playing conditions throughout the year no matter the weather.
– We are happy with the solution, which provides a perfect pitch through the cold and wet Danish fall and spring season. It is a good alternative to the traditional grass pitch, says Lars Hallengreen, Project Director at FCN.
Prior to the project in Denmark, Danfoss has provided electrical heating for many soccer fields, among others to Anderlecht, Werder Bremen, FC Köln and Lokomotiv Moscow. But this time the challenge was different. – The Farum Park solution is our first installation for artificial turf. The cables need to be placed directly under the thin mats of artificial grass. That means that the cables must be extremely thin to avoid bulging of the pitch that would affect how the ball bounces. At the same time the cables need to be highly robust to resist the wear and tear of the games, says Leif Olsen, Sales Manager at Danfoss Electric Heating.
Innovative and FIFA certified solution
The development of the Farum Park solution took place in close cooperation between turnkey-supplier Limonta Sport’s Danish agent NKI Grass, the customer FCN and Danfoss.
– We sat down together and designed a solution that would match Limonta Sport’s high-quality, artificial turf. The solution that we came up with was a customized outdoor “thin-mat” that is easy to install under the artificial turf. The installation was then tested according to FIFA’s regulations, and it passed with flying colors, says Leif Olsen. After installation the turf passed an extensive test by FIFA officials and was awarded the FIFA 2-star certificate.
High energy efficiency
The installation is divided into eight zones with 24 sub-zones that can be controlled individually. In this way it is possible to heat only parts of the pitch. The zoning as well as the fact that the heat cables lie only 1 cm below the turf reduces the energy consumption of the heating system compared to traditional water-borne systems. – It was an important goal for us to reduce the energy consumption of the pitch heating. The heating is controlled automatically by thermostats so that when the temperature drops below zero the heating kicks in. The system reacts instantaneously, but only where needed. If part of the field is heated by the sun, only the zones in shadow are heated, explains Lars Hellengreen.
New opportunities with heated, artificial turf
Artificial grass is already common in sports arenas in the US, many places in Asia and increasingly in Europe. And the advantages are numerous.
– First of all we now have an all-weather perfect pitch. But the installation has also opened other opportunities for us. For instance our youth teams are also allowed to practice on the FIFA-approved stadium, and in general we expect to be able to create a much livelier and dynamic environment around the Farum Park sports arena, says Lars Hallengreen.
Furthermore, the electric pitch heating is easy to install and virtually free of maintenance. – In most cases the power supply will already be in place, because the sports arenas have stadium light systems. And when delivered the thin mats and the heating cables come as a plug and play solution that can be installed within a relatively short time. At the same time the cables are durable and maintenance-free, concludes Leif Olsen.
15 km of ultra-thin, electric cables ensure instantaneous heating of the football pitch at Danish Farum Park sports arena.
“The solution that we came up with was a customized outdoor “thin-mat” that is easy to install under the artificial turf. The installation was then tested according to FIFA’s regulations, and it passed with flying colours.” says Sales Manager Leif Olsen, Danfoss Electric Heating.
The solution comprises 210 electrical heating mats – each mat is 70.5 meters long.
Advantages of the Farum Park solution:
- Plug and play solution, easy to install
- High durability
- Low energy consumption due to zoning
- Instantaneous heating on demand
- Low maintenance costs
Heat output: 90W/m2
Diameter of cables: 2.5 mm
Deformation strength of cables: Min. 600N
Conductor insulation: Teflon
Outer Sheath: PVDF
Warranty: 10 years