Sustainable Games of Technology
253 days prior to what London 2012 organizers claim to be the greenest-ever Olympic and Paralympic Games, we highlight the sustainable solutions that GE will be providing to support the host city and the Games. GE’s software has improved the efficiency and reliability of the smart grid serving East London, where the Olympic Park is being built, while other businesses within GE have provided advanced energy systems, high-tech lighting solutions, uninterruptible power supplies, state-of-the-art healthcare equipment and electric car charging points.
Earlier this autumn, a group of journalists from the CEE region toured London to discover the preparations for the Games. The journalists reported pretty similar experiences. “I think it wouldn’t be far off to describe the London Olympics as “Smart Games”. By saying this I don’t mean only the IT technology, which is very crucial, but also the carefully designed infrastructure where sustainability seems to play a very important role” said Zsuzsa Szabó from the Hungarian business daily Napi Gazdaság. Gabriel Barliga from the Romanian BIZ magazine added that “It was great to see a work in progress and find out how the whole Olympic experience was shaped from the beginning with ecology and energy efficiency in mind. I also found very interesting the fact that GE’s involvement was not only related to the Games themselves, but also to the legacy that they leave behind.”
After previous Games in Vancouver and Beijing, London is another great place to showcase equipment and technology, as London 2012 will be the first summer Olympic and Paralympic Games where sustainability, including alternative energy resources, efficiency and reusability, is one of the organizers’ key efforts to minimize the ecological footprint of the event.
The 30th Olympiad will feature an estimated 75 GE separate projects, showcasing their innovations.
GE Lighting is supplying around 14,000 lamps for London 2012 to be used in the back-of house function areas of the Olympic Stadium and has designed, supplied and commissioned HDTV broadcast lighting for both the Handball and Basketball Arena locations. GE Digital Energy’s UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) provide continuation in case of power failure and maintain the emergency lighting system, while GE Industrial Solutions is providing the electrical distribution equipment for the Velodrome (Track Cycling Venue). Meanwhile, following an innovative funding deal reached recently, a state-of-the-art LED lighting and cabling system will be installed for the Games. This project will stay permanent, while cutting energy consumption from lighting the bridge by up to 40 per cent compared with today’s usage, while enhancing its world-renowned architectural features at night.
From the Olympic Park Energy Centre, GE Jenbacher gas engines – which have also been installed in a recently inaugurated biogas plant in Szarvas, Hungary – will provide the power, heating and cooling across the Park during the event. Those engines are capable of up to 90 percent total efficiency, require about 45 percent less primary energy compared to traditional high voltage power supply and reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent (the model used for the Games is capable of up to 30 percent CO2 emission reduction).
GE will supply its Durastation EV chargers for the fleet of 200 BMW and Mini electric cars serving the Games. This is part of the company’s overall initiative to transform cities in a sustainable way, interconnecting all along the EV infrastructure chain from generating clean electricity to leading the smart grid transformation to increase efficiency and reliability globally.
GE Healthcare is offering a wide range of digital imaging equipment to the Olympic Village Polyclinic to treat athletes during the Olympic Games. This will include MRI, CT, X-Ray and ultrasound for prompt diagnosis to help athletes and coaching teams. GE Healthcare is also supplying 150 heart defibrillators to provide mobile coverage for spectators.
GE is also providing equipment to many of the other non-Olympic park venues, including the equestrian Games at Greenwich Park where it is supplying ultrasound systems for monitoring and treating the horses during the competition.