Uninterrupted Fox Sports


Vacon variable speed drives are working to ensure sports fans enjoy Fox Sports television broadcasts without distraction.

Four Vacon 100X decentralised drive units from Fantech have been installed at Fox Sports to provide a noisefree HVAC system. The television broadcaster has set up its new headquarters in Building C at Gore Hill, a business precinct being developed at Sydney’s North Shore. The building includes: two production studios, a news studio, a data hall, specialist control rooms, voiceover booths and offices. A noise-free HVAC system was crucial for the television broadcaster and the 100X drives were the ideal solution. Aside from their advanced speed control and energy efficiency, the 100X is rated to IP66 Type 4 outdoors, meaning the drive is able to be installed in direct sunlight and the elements. The die-cast metal enclosure features distinctive cooling ribs and a GORE-TEX® vent so the drive can operate in extreme temperatures (-40°C to 60°C) without needing to be in an air conditioned space.

The vent breathes which helps to equalize the pressures both inside and outside the drive, providing further protection for the seals. This is important because the mechanical roof plant houses chillers and pumps for the building, but is exposed to the weather. Vacon drives can be installed close to the motors reducing the length of screened cable required and the need to core hole drill through the roof.

However, the biggest benefit is that the Vacon 100X has EMC and RFI filters which remove electromagnetic interference and help lower harmonic noise levels in a speed controlled fan, so the HVAC system does not interfere with Fox Sport’s broadcasting equipment. Building C was designed to achieve a 5 Star Green Star and 5 Star NABERS energy rating. The use of Vacon drives, along with Gore Hill’s water harvesting and co-generation power supply on site helped Building C receive the 2013 ‘National Commercial / Industrial Construction Award, $20 million to $50 million’. Fox Sports wanted early access to the ground floor and lower ground floors so they could begin broadcasting from the master control room and presentation suite areas. This was a challenge for mechanical services contractor Allstaff Air conditioning, but with the help of smart scheduling the milestone was met.

Construction continued around the television presenter, but Fox Sports viewers were oblivious. Fox Sports officially launched their new headquarters in March 2013. The final stage of the 4.56 hectare Gore Hill site is expected to be complete in 2015.