Eltech-IQ lights up Jägersro race course with iX HMI SoftControl

Eltech-IQ was contacted by J&B EL AB for ATG, the government body for horse racing in Sweden to solve the problem of providing sufficient lighting for HDTV broadcasting at the Jägersro trotting and thoroughbred racecourse in Malmö, Sweden. The challenge was how to ignite 1.2 megawatts of lighting using timers without creating a total power outage. Similarly, the system needed a backup so people could evacuate the course in the event of an emergency or a power cut. The total emergency power required is 25 lux.

A brighter future for horse racing
Partly owned by the Swedish state, the Swedish Jockey club and the Swedish Trotting Association, ATG stipulates lighting requirements for its racetracks that are higher than those required by UEFA to broadcast Premier League football matches. This creates a dilemma for lighting such a large area, as the lighting must be programmed to reach full power in stages. A further requirement from Jägersro was for different types of lighting according to the nature of the event. Events not televised, or an evening training session in the winter does not put the same demands on brightness, and ultimately power consumption, from the lighting solution.

All-in-one HMI
Thomas Palmér, CEO of Eltech-IQ, describes the dilemma as “A simple challenge that can only be solved by a complicated solution”. Requirements included seeing how much power is consumed over time and an intuitive interface with images to show operators what is working and how it is working. What Jägersro required was a communication method that could cope with a 1.2 kilometer length of cabling that offered cost effective, yet fast transmission rates. The project for Eltech-IQ included fitting and dimensioning all control cabinets, programming and commissioning.

Thomas Palmér saw a great advantage in using Beijer Electronics’ iX HMI solution with integrated CODESYS soft control. This solution provided the opportunity to unite the control and operator functionality in one compact unit. It simplified setup by only using two coherent software packages. Previous systems based on separate PLC and operator panel hardware required three software packages, all working independently, which greatly increased project complexity.

“Connecting everything into one unit that uses the same environment means individual lights can be switched on and off with a simple online change without a technician having to visit the racecourse,” says Thomas Palmér. “This was possible by using Modbus TCP/IP as a communication language, which is an extremely common protocol. System management and change management can then be easily performed from a distance via Internet.”

Secure remote communication
On his two previous assignments for ATG, Thomas Palmér had used a traditional PLC solution with iX Runtime, which he feels works well. Still, his thought when presented with the new CODESYS-based HMI solution was: Finally! “This is a pragmatic solution, I am very pleased. Operation and maintenance are much easier to handle now. CODESYS enables online change and consequently remote management.”

The system utilizes secures communication by using a Tosibox, which offers an automatic way to build remote access quickly and securely through tight fire walls. With the help of a Tosibox, an authorized user can manage the system, regardless of geographic location. The Tosibox is connected directly into Jägersro’s IT network and reaches the iX HMI SoftControl that manages 38 nodes, all with a unique address. “The network is completely safe,” comments Thomas Palmér. “A simple connection supplied by Beijer Electronics connected their iX operator panel to the Modbus network, meaning I can control everything from home, even though I’m 1.600 kilometres away.”

Fulfilling the most stringent requirements
The system was delivered with an iX Runtime programmed to mirror the same image on a PC or tablet as on the control panel. Once the mirroring is programmed the first time it’s easy to add any number of PCs or other remote units for authorised users. “The solution fulfills the stringent requirements placed on the system by ATG” comments Thomas Palmér. “After five years of use on other racecourses, there has never once been a malfunction. The circular system uses redundant nodes where all points can work independently of each other.”

Easy to monitor, easy to manage
Jägersro now has the ability to measure the time and electricity consumption of the system, as well as controlling usage. It can be programmed with an automatic timer function for switching on/off for training days, pre-programmed events, etc. It also sends alarms in good time when lights should be changed, meaning lighting will always be optimal during televised time. Jägersro is also considering extending the track, and with it the lighting, which will be a simple process, bolting onto the Beijer Electronics iX HMI SoftControl.

A perfect partner
Thomas Palmér expressed his satisfaction in partnering with Beijer Electronics. “The support is excellent, I get high quality, proactive service and it’s easy to find all documentation on their website. I also attended a CODESYS training course which I loved.” He comments “Beijer Electronics put together a complete solution including both products and service. I’m proud to say I am a supplier of products.” Switch on for Jägersro’s new lighting system is planned for April 2015.
"Simplicity is the keyword. It’s simple to monitor, simple to change parameters, and simple to extend."

About Eltech IQ
Based in Boden in the north of Sweden, Eltech IQ is a Technology company that uses smart, energy efficiency solutions including industrial technology for the building industry.
• Ignite 1.2 megawatts of lighting using timers without creating a total power outage.
• Create a backup system to control emergency power
• Easily monitor and control lighting from a remote operator panel
• iX HMI solution with CODESYS soft control for simple setup, intuitive UI and merging everything into one unit
• Tosibox for secure remote user control
• Modbus TCP/IP as common protocol
• iX Runtime to mirror user interface on a PC
• Easy monitoring and control of lighting
• Users can remotely control system from a mirrored UI on a standard PC or tablet
• Parameters include flexible timing and maintenance alerts
• Easy to extend lighting control when extending racetrack