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London Olympic Stadium Construction - Fibre and Power Cable Ducts

London Olympic Stadium Construction - Fibre and Power Cable Ducts

Emtelle heavily involved with the London Olympic Stadium Construction

The Olympic Stadium is the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s most recognisable venue, and a symbol of the success of the 2012 games. The stadium, which as of 2016 will become the new home for Premiership football team West Ham United, will also be the National Competition Centre for athletics in the UK and a major live music venue. It is also set to provide the backdrop for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2017.

Emtelle is proud to have been involved with the London Olympic Stadium construction, being chosen to supply the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for London, EDF Energy, for the ambitious project.

Project Background

In the 1900s, Stratford in London hosted some of the dirtiest industries, including acid manufacturers and lead mills. In the 1990s, the area was derelict, the soil ruined from pollution, as were the local rivers and canals. When the area was chosen to be the site of the Olympic Park, the first job in the London Olympic Stadium construction project was to demolish a lot of old, derelict buildings, dig up the top 500mm of the top-soil, and have it chemically washed. The building rubble was bull-dozed into high bunds which became the access roads and pedestrian walkways. The mechanical services were then laid in these bunds.

Emtelle ducts, ranging from FibreFlow cables ducts to PowerProtect+ HV 132kV and 33Kv cable ducts were specified by various consulting engineers and EDF energy. Emtelle’s relationship with the consulting engineerings is very strong, based on the assistance provided to them at design stage and subsequent follow up “On-Site Tool-Box Talks” with the installers, ensuring everyone is happy with the resultant job.

London Olympic Stadium Construction Issues

The service bunds at the Olympic Park are criss-crossed with bridges, canals, rivers and road crossings. This meant that electrical cable ducts, which would ordinarily be buried where the temperature is stable and ducts are restrained against thermal movement by the trench bedding, were now exposed on the bridge structures. The location, combined with the fact they would be exposed to the elements, would mean the plastic ducts would contract 7 to 9 times as much per degree centigrade more than steel/concrete, with environmental temperatures of -10 degrees centigrade in the winter, to +35 degrees centigrade in the summer. In addition, the electrical cables inside the ducts would heat up to 75 degrees centigrade during operating cycles, meaning a temperature range of 85 degrees centigrade to cope with on the bridges.


In order to overcome this issue during the London Olympic Stadium construction project, 160mm x 600mm long Rotek Expansion Couplings were manufactured from 180mm HDPE SDR 11 duct, internally machined to take Emtelle uPVC ducts, with “O” rings at each end. These would be anchored into the structure, allowing the 160mm duct to expand and contract into these. The ducts on the bridges were then solvent welded together, providing control of the “rods” of ducts so that thermal movement is directed into the Rotek expansion couplings.

All of the bridge crossings on the Olympic site carrying electrical cables were installed in this way and continue to give good service for many years to come.

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