An innovative approach to ventilation by Hydor has ensured that the UK’s largest indoor karting venue is free from exhaust fumes at a significantly lower cost than by adopting the conventional route of employing axial flow fans. When the owners of Capital Karts looked into the best way of removing the fumes generated by the LPG kart engines at its 8,500 square metre venue in Essex, Hydor provided the optimum solution.
Karting tracks are notoriously difficult to ventilate. The conventional way is to use direct drive plate mounted axial flow fans but a large number of fans is required to keep the carbon monoxide (CO) levels generated by the karts to an acceptable level. In the case of Capital Karts, 15 800mm axial fans and the associated cabling, switch panels and isolators would have been necessary. Instead, Hydor employed HV1250 fans, designed to ventilate areas such as larger farm buildings in which significant quantities of air need to be moved at low pressure, using minimal amounts of energy.
This meant that only 6 fans were required, removing the polluted air at 70m3/s and drawing in fresh air from openings on the opposite side of the building to ensure a comfortable environment, even when the RiMO karts are travelling at speeds of over 45mph down the 80 metre main straight of the 1,050 metre long professionally designed race track. Hydor also built a bespoke control panel which allows the fans to be operated individually.
This can be done manually through switches located on the panel or automatically through sensors mounted in the roof area to provide a quick response as the hot CO generated by the engines naturally rises. In automated mode, the first fan is activated when the CO level rises above 30ppm (the maximum long term exposure limit), with the other 5 fans switching on one at a time at set intervals until the level drops below 30ppm. The time delay between the fans ensures that the surge on the electrical supply is minimised, reducing energy consumption. The panel also features a series of indicators, with a display which shows the CO level at all times, along with a green, amber and red light system indicating when CO levels are below 30ppm, between 30 and 200ppm and above 200ppm (the maximum short term exposure limit) respectively.
A further benefit of adopting the Hydor HV1250 3 phase fans was the reduced noise levels, with the 1.5kW motors of the 6 fans generating 63dBA rather than the 68 to 72dBA that would have resulted from the 15 1.1kW motors of the 960rpm axial flow fans. Alan Knight, Electrical Engineer and Customer Support at Hydor, comments –”We have seen how successful the HV belt drive fans are in ventilating large agricultural buildings and it was a case of taking that technology and applying it slightly differently to meet the specific needs of Capital Karts. It is all about moving large volumes of air in the most effective way possible and we had already employed it in other karting venues, as well as large warehouses.
With up to 25 karts per race, on a track three times the length of a standard track – representing a surface area greater than that of Wembley Stadium – the size of the building and the amount of CO to remove made Capital Karts particularly suited to this approach.” .