Drive solution for the Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg
Roof and pitch in perfect motion
What if the weather deteriorates during the World Cup match? No problem: Thanks to sophisticated drive and control technology, the roof of the Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg can be closed during the 15 minute half-time interval. And to protect the grass during concerts, our drives allow the pitch to be rolled to the side whenever required.
Vladimir Aleshkin, Head Engineer of the Zenit Arena
For the Zenit Arena project, it is absolutely essential for us to have reliable and professional partners at our sides. With SEW‑EURODRIVE, we benefit from high quality standards and utmost efficiency.
Compared to other providers, SEW‑EURODRIVE has the most experience with even load distribution in multi-drive systems. This is of utmost importance for both of our projects. We also value the outstanding service delivered by SEW‑EURODRIVE. Thanks to the short response times and the fact that the service department and spare parts warehouse are located in St. Petersburg, help is always at hand.
"Like a spaceship that has landed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland" – that was the vision of renowned Japanese architect Kishō Kurokawa when he designed the new soccer stadium in St. Petersburg more than eleven years ago. Unfortunately, he never witnessed the stadium's completion in April 2017 having passed away a year after construction began.
Despite the challenging conditions presented by the construction site, a gigantic building complex for more than 68 000 spectators and with a total surface area of 287 600 square meters was erected at the mouth of the Neva river. The stadium owes its name "Zenit Arena" to the home team and owner: the soccer club FC Zenit, which plays in the Russian premier league.
St. Petersburg now boasts the second-largest stadium in Russia by surface area, bettered only by the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow, which can accommodate around 81 000 spectators. When it comes to height, however, the Zenit Arena beats its Moscow counterpart hands downs. Its 57 meters (without pillars) make it the tallest stadium in Russia (by comparison, Munich's Allianz Arena has a height of 52 meters).
Winter-proof and evergreen ...
Weatherproof and pitch-friendly thanks to convertible roof and retractable playing field:
The innovative technology is perfectly in keeping with the futuristic design of this soccer palace: Two elements in the steel construction allow a large section of the roof to be opened or closed in just 15 minutes. This offers the advantage that players, organizers and spectators can enjoy a warm 20°C, even when outside temperatures plummet. The open roof, on the other hand, allows sufficient sunshine onto the pitch to ensure that the grass can grow.
Yet the glass dome is not the only retractable feature: The grass pitch can also be moved. When a pop concert is to take place, the pitch simply makes way. While the party kicks off inside, the grass can recover outside the stadium. The 120 x 80 meter pitch is then simply rolled back inside, in perfect condition for the next match. This impressive "grass care" regime takes approx. six hours.
28 planetary gear units with MOVIDRIVE® deliver a perfect view of the sky
Admittedly, you are unlikely to be staring at the sky while witnessing a pulsating match or enthralling concert inside the stadium. But if you do happen to steal a glance at the enormous dome, you might be able to spot a star or even an illuminated planet through the glass roof. And you may ask yourself what the red dots are that light up in the steel construction at regular intervals.
On closer examination, the 28 red dots reveal themselves as the high-torque industrial planetary gear units of the P series. These allow two large elements of the round roof dome to be opened and closed via a rack and pinion mechanism in just 15 minutes. Thanks to their high power-to-weight ration and compact design, these gear units represent the perfect answer to the customer's requirement for a light, space-saving solution.
However, the gear units alone would be unable to master the considerable challenge presented by the enormous stadium roof. The motion sequences have to be highly accurate, while also handling the glass dome with utmost care. This requires the load to be distributed evenly across all gear units, while overloading must also be avoided. In addition, the natural deflection of the steel construction must be compensated, as must the construction-based tolerance of the roof frame.
This is why each planetary gear unit is accompanied by a MOVIDRIVE® application inverter The inverters allow the load to be distributed accurately across all drives, thus meeting all the relevant requirements and ensuring even movement of the roof. During opening and closing, the position of the roof is continuously monitored by our encoders and safety limit switches.
32 industrial helical gear units with MOVIDRIVE® for healthy grass ...
While they are not yet able to cut the grass, they are highly adept at sliding the pitch out of the way so that it is not subjected to excessive or unnecessary stress: 32 drive units, each equipped with an industrial helical gear unit with MOVIDRVE® inverter are responsible for moving every last blade of grass evenly and smoothly.
Their appearance resembles that of laden trailers on two massive wheels. This construction allows the drive units to be towed away individually, in a straightforward and cost-effective manner.
As easy as they are to be pulled, the drive units generally prefer to do the pulling themselves: For this purpose, each of the attached industrial gear units is equipped with two output shafts (LSS). LSS stands for "low speed shaft", and every one of these output shafts powers a separate truck tire.
Each of these combinations is equipped with a MOVIDRIVE® application inverter. These enable closed-loop control, which ensures that all of the units can pull with same force. This in turn allows the grass pitch to be moved evenly and in a straight line. To prevent the wheels from slipping on wet ground, each of the combinations is weighted down with a concrete block.
When our customers are asked why they opted for SEW‑EURODRIVE, the answers are often very similar, boiling down to the fact that we offer the perfect combination of quality, customer proximity and service.
The fact that we have our Russian headquarters in St. Petersburg was one of the main reasons why the constructors of the Zenit Arena turned to SEW‑EURODRIVE as their perfect partner for this mammoth undertaking. As a result, the right customer advisor, application engineer and service expert are always close to hand and able to offer personal assistance whenever required. As an additional bonus, our Russian spare parts warehouse is also located in St. Petersburg, meaning that the operators of the Arena do not have to keep their own stocks of drive technology parts. SEW‑EURODRIVE was also chosen as a provider known to have the most experience with even load distribution in multi-drive systems.
"As the owner of the stadium, FC Zenit values the service and support of a reliable and professional partner," explains Oleg Khoroshinin, the SEW‑EURODRIVE sales engineer responsible for the project: "Our customer is always safe in the knowledge that all work is completed to the exacting quality standards of SEW‑EURODRIVE. This ensures utmost efficiency and maximum safety."
The project represented an impressive feat of engineering from all parties involved – that is, both OEMs, the end customer and SEW‑EURODRIVE. The experts from SEW‑EURODRIVE were involved in the construction of the roof and pitch transport systems from the outset. In particular, the drive units for the rolling grass pitch highlighted just how simple a high-quality solution can be. Moreover, the solution proved highly cost-effective for our OEM customer OMEGA NPK, particularly with regard to the frame, storage and transport costs. All in all, it was an extremely successful and very exciting project.