Be a sport and check out these energy efficient stadiums from around the world

It would be a pretty sad if we were deprived of a Messi dribble or a Kohli flick. We need sport in our lives. But we can also make sure that stadiums are energy efficient, can’t we?

Football Stadium. Pic via Flickr user Mick C

Pic via Flickr user Mick C

An exhilarating experience of any live game is what one craves for. The excitement, thrill and charisma of any live watch is awe-inspiring; however, one of the major threats to all such expressions is the concept of energy. So what do energy efficient stadiums look like?

We take a look at energy efficiency models that have been adopted by stadiums around the world:

Harvesting energy from humans

Don’t be scared! Harvesting energy for human might sound like a scene from The Matrix, but it really works. The human body has an abundant amount of energy and research claims that an average adult has as much energy stored in the fats as a one ton battery. Movement produces kinetic energy and this energy can be converted into efficient power. Every time you burn a calorie with the help of a treadmill or any other equipment you can convert that calorific energy into power that can drive a generator! Walking produces energy in the bandwidth of 100-200 microwatts. Stadiums can be the best place to use this energy efficiency mechanism.


In the Morro da Mineira stadium, Rio de Janiero this project has been implemented successfully. Every step made by the player on the pitch is converted into energy. On an average, a footstep creates about 5 watts per second and the entire system is complemented by solar panels that help in effective delivery of the energy produced. The project involved placing power storing tiles 56 mm underneath the astroturf pitch in the stadium.

Organic pitch

An organic football pitch is far better than the normal artificial pitch and is also more energy efficient. It eliminates the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Multitude of plant derived products like compost tea and coconut wetting agent to seaweed fertilizer can be used. Providing a carbon base is important and owing to it, charcoal can be added to provide a base for bacteria and fungus. These efforts maintain the pitch naturally without any external human intervention and is far more energy efficient.

Forest Green Rovers who hail from Gloucestershire, England have developed a 100 percent organic pitch.

Forest Green Rovers Football Club

Forest Green Rovers Football Club

Experimentation with LED lighting

Modern sport has been revolutionized completely by the use of tenchonology. The introduction of electronic ballast in the metal halide technology has overall increased energy efficiency. Electronic ballast is the device that monitors the exact amount of voltage needed for ignition of a lamp. This is the reason why LED lights have made stadiums far more energy efficient.

Fluorescent tube lights on the other hand consume more electricity and are less efficient. LEDs are 60 percent more energy efficient than the normal lights used in the fields. The German champions and five time European Cup winners Bayern Munich announced a deal with Philips for the installation of 380,000 ultra-efficient LED lights at the Allianz Arena. The LED lights will enhancing the overall experience and make the sport more lively. It will also amount to saving 362 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Design study / visualization of the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany, with the planed Philips LED fascade lighting. "We will expand the palette from three to 16 million colors. There will be plenty of light scenarios possible, with which the Allianz Arena will be able to create unique moods TBy dynamic light animations, the Allianz Arena will be able to create unique moods“, says Roger Karner, Managing Director of Philips Lighting in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The partners already developed first design studies and will continue to develop them together with the the relevant government departments.

Visualization of the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany, with the planed Philips LED fascade lighting

A bright light doesn’t ensure maximum efficiency, there are many factors which come into play and one has to also take care of some biological factors which includes the adaptability to any form of lighting.

Solar plants and photovoltaic cells

Nature has blessed us with abundant solar energy and it has become increasingly important for us to harness it as fossil fuels continue to deplete. Stadiums are the places that use electricity in abundance and relying on electricity directly is not feasible in these times of crisis. Installation of solar plants in the stadiums can cut down the electricity usage by a gargantuan amount. The Chinnaswamy cricket stadium located at the focal point of Bengaluru has taken the first step in this process. Photovoltaic cells have been fixed on the circular roof tops of the stadium. 1700 units of power is generated on a daily basis and annually solar panels will generate 440 kilovolts or 6 lakh units. The entire project was completed in 50 days and it will generate revenue of 70-80 lakhs.


Onsite renewable system

Onsite renewable system is one of the most effective ways to save energy. A single stream recycling program can be used in order to recycle all the waste produced in a stadium. The tissues can be recycled and used for other purposes as well. Onsite renewable system helps in recycling of cans, bottles, plastic cups, cardboard, paper, wood pallets, electronic components, light bulbs, batteries, food waste and grass clippings. The drink ware and the packaged food sold in the stadiums can be recycled immediately in the stadium itself thereby saving resources.

Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles has 11,000 onsite solar panels and 14 onsite wind turbines and is the first professional stadium in the U.S. capable of generating all of its electricity onsite. Onsite renewable system is possible and many stadiums have started adopting this technology.


Wind turbines at the Lincoln Field Financial stadium in Philadelphia

Automated lighting control system

With the use of central computing devices, a lighting control system that incorporates the communication between system inputs and outputs can be established. One of the most important benefits of this system is that the total energy consumption gets reduced by a greater amount thereby saving a lot of resources. Dimming and switching off lights when not in use enhances the overall life of the bulbs. Flexibility is increased over switches and sensors may replace them. This comes in handy in places like stadium where people don’t have the time to switch off lights. In a vast arena like a stadium it becomes important to manage the appliances because it is not affordable to keep many light switched on without any required usage of the same.

Easy access to train and bus terminals and free charging stations

Usage of public transport over private vehicles save a lot of fuel and increase the overall energy efficiency also. Stadiums should be designed in such a manner that all of them have the required private and public transport in the vicinity that can be accessed easily. The Century link stadium in the US offers six electric vehicle charging stations. A free charging station provides a boost to the use of electric vehicles thereby reducing the fossil fuel consumption.

High-efficiency plumbing

The regular urinals consume a lot of water and highly efficient plumbing system can solve this problem. Ultra low flush toilet model which uses very less amount of water should be installed in stadiums. Compositing toilet which uses little to no water for flushing is another important innovation in this field. Dual flush toilet is quite unique, it has a lower-flush button for liquid waste and a higher-flush button for solid waste; this decreases the usage of water and helps in saving a lot of water. This system has reduced the MetLife Stadium’s annual water demand by 25%. Low flow water fixtures and water efficient appliances can be used in the fields as a lot of water is consumed in the field.


Low E-coating technology

The standard clear glass has an emittance of 0.84 which means that that 84 % of the energy is absorbed and only 16 % is reflected. On the other hand, low e-glass coatings can have an emittance of 0.04 which means that only 4 % of the energy is emitted and 96 % is reflected. Low e-coating technology thus maintains the temperature of the stadium and helps in reducing the usage of ACs.

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A dreamer with a singular expression - Smile! Sanket is a media and journalism student at Symbiosis International University. When not writing, you can find him sipping coffee and reading entrepreneurial, political and leadership books. more


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A dreamer with a singular expression - Smile! Sanket is a media and journalism student at Symbiosis International University. When not writing, you can find him sipping coffee and reading entrepreneurial, political and leadership books. more

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