Then there was light
He said, "We developed the system in Norway and, as you can appreciate, the pitches over there get very little light. In April, when the season starts, they are OK but, by the autumn, there is no light on the pitches.
We have sun from the end of April to the end of September. After that there is no sunlight at all and the grass in the stadiums stops growing."
Three biological trials have been carried out by the Norwegian Crop Research Institute over a 4 year period since 1999. The results of these trials are the base for the specification of MLR. Mobilt Drivhus has developed the technical solution with support from research, engineering and production companies in Norway. The MLR being used at the City of Manchester is a prototype and is only half the size of a planned MLR.
The company is trying to introduce the lights into the UK and Europe. Hans believes this time of year, October and November, is important because there are areas in many stadiums where the grass has now stopped growing.
The lighting rig will be used at the City of Manchester stadium for the next few months, then there are plans to invite representatives of the Premier League and Nationwide First Division to view the results. Mobilt Drivhus will provide product prices and estimates of energy costs at the seminar in Manchester later this year. The intention is to show that the cost is competitive to other pitch maintenance methods.
Hans commented that, this is a prototype and will no doubt evolve; perhaps in the future rigs could be affixed to the roof of the stadium and lowered into place after matches. However, he accepts that such a development may not be possible immediately.
Pitchcare will be monitoring the trial with the help of Lee Jackson, bringing the results to members ahead of everyone else.
More information on the Mobile Lighting Rig can be found in the Industry section of the magazine.