Eighteen of Zero 88’s new RigSwitch cabinets – for controlled and synchronized power switching – have been installed at P&J Live at The Event Complex Aberdeen.
It's a new multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art, flexible entertainment, exhibition, event, and conference facility delivered by Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Henry Boot Developments in this key Scottish city.
The fantastic futuristic-looking building was designed by architects Keppie and constructed by the Robertson Group. Leading theatre consultants Theatre Projects were commissioned to define and specify the site-wide technical infrastructure for Hall C and Conference Suites 1 and 2. The tender for electrical contractor for these areas was won by LSI Projects.
When it came to a power switching solution for the LED lighting rigs predominantly requiring ‘hot power’ in these three main spaces, the need was for a safe, cost-effective, and reliable system to control the predicted on / off power surges associated with large LED installations.
LSI Projects also won the tender to deliver the cabling infrastructure for the entertainment lighting rigs, audio and AV, plus associated power distribution for these performance spaces, including all the fibre connections, and they in turn chose RigSwitch to be an integral part of that setup.
Two variants – a 24 and a 36-channel version – of RigSwitch were supplied. The 36-channel was manufactured especially for this project as a project-specific solution, while the 24-channel and 12-channel were subsequently launched at the PLASA 2019 expo as part of a standardized range of innovative off-the-shelf products.
RigSwitch has been developed as a remote-controlled power switching solution suitable for any size venue. The standard 12 or 24 channel cabinet configurations offer RCD or RCBO options and a wide choice of user interfaces for control.
The P&J Live installation was overseen on site by Vari-Lite’s Keith Rogers, working closely with LSI Projects’ Paul Barker. The 18 small-footprint cabinets are divided into blocks of six across the three separate main performance areas.
Hall C, one of the three exhibition halls at P&J Live, is a massive single space containing six rectangular flown trusses for the lighting positions, with one RigSwitch rack allocated per truss, each giving 24 switchable power sockets. Conference Suite 1 (CS1) can be divided into two areas and also features six rectangular trusses, two on one side (in the partitioned configuration) and four the other, and CS2 can be divided into three separate areas with six rectangular trusses, two in each section.
The RigSwitch relay units are all located in a service / fire corridor running the length of the building, chosen to be as close as possible to each of the mains distro boards feeding the units, and to the individual switching rooms that back up to the corridor. This reduces cable runs to the lighting trusses as much as possible. Each RigSwitch cabinet was standardized for easy installation and maintenance, featuring an RCBO per circuit plus plenty of space to practically make all the connections.
The power switching devices are each rated at 32A capability, offering a total of 576 latching relays operating with an inbuilt 'cascade power on' function to protect the mains distribution panels from nuisance tripping due to the inrush on the LED lighting fixtures. All three event spaces have the same control interfaces, with a simple two-button panel that turns everything on and off.
In addition, there is a small TSC30 colour touch screen for individual control of the relays and to override them if necessary. In Conference suites 1 and 2, this also allows for individual on/off control of lighting fixtures when the rooms are partitioned. These are in fixed positions.
Hall C’s interfaces are in a control room overlooking the space, and for the Conference Suites, they are integrated in a comms rack within the rooms themselves. All the units are DMX addressed and can also be controlled from a lighting console. There is provision to connect to the system wirelessly via an EG2 gateway if desired in the future.
This is a great high-profile reference for the new product. It has been forecast that P&J Live, located adjacent to Aberdeen’s International Airport and two major hotel brands on site at The Event Complex Aberdeen, will entice around 4.5 million more visitors annually to Scotland, generating £113 million in visitor spend and adding £63 million net gross value for the Scottish economy.
With this successful installation, further development of the RigSwitch range is planned. RigSwitch is an ideal switching power solution for modern entertainment lighting systems, including moving lights, LED fixtures of all types, hot power sockets, and specials.
Customized RigSwitch configurations can currently include larger channel counts than the standard 12 and 24 channels, with options for RCBO ‘traffic lights’ and AFDD (Arc Fault Detection Devices). With individual relays rated up to 32A, RigSwitch can cater for even the most power-hungry entertainment applications.