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Bahrain's Formula-1 racing circuit: energy and environmental considerations

Alnaser, W. E., Probert, S. D., El-Masri, S., Al-Khalifa, S. E., Flanagan, R. and Alnaser, N. W. (2006) Bahrain's Formula-1 racing circuit: energy and environmental considerations. Applied Energy, 83 (4). pp. 352-370. ISSN 0306-2619

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2005.04.006


The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) and complex, at latitude 26.00N and longitude 51.54E, was built in 483 days and cost 150 million US$. The circuit consists of six different individual tracks with a 3.66 km outer track (involving 10 turns) and a 2.55 km inner track (having six turns). The complex has been designed to host a variety of other sporting activities. Fifty thousand spectators, including 10,500 in the main grandstand, can be accommodated simultaneously. State-of-the art on-site media and broadcast facilities are available. The noise level emitted from vehicles on the circuit during the Formula-1 event, on April 4th 2004, was acceptable and caused no physical disturbance to the fans in the VIP lounges or to scholars studying at the University of Bahrain's Shakeir Campus, which is only 1.5 km away from the circuit. The sound-intensity level (SIL) recorded on the balcony of the VIP lounge was 128 dB(A) and was 80 dB(A) inside the lounge. The calculated SIL immediately outside the lecture halls of the University of Bahrain was 70 dB(A) and 65 dB(A) within them. Thus racing at BIC can proceed without significantly disturbing the academic-learning process. The purchased electricity demand by the BIC complex peaked (at 4.5 MW) during the first Formula-1 event on April 4th 2004. The reverse-osmosis (RO) plant at the BIC provides 1000 m(3) of desalinated water per day for landscape irrigation. Renewable-energy inputs, (i.e., via solar and wind power), at the BIC could be harnessed to generate electricity for water desalination, air conditioning, lighting as well as for irrigation. If the covering of the BIC complex was covered by adhesively fixed modern photovoltaic cells, then similar to 1.2 MW of solar electricity could be generated. If two horizontal-axis, at 150 m height above the ground, three 75m bladed, wind turbines were to be installed at the BIC, then the output could reach 4 MW. Furthermore, if 10,000 Jojoba trees (a species renowned for having a low demand for water, needing only five irrigations per year in Bahrain and which remain green throughout the year) are planted near the circuit, then the local micro-climate would be improved with respect to human comfort as well as the local environment becoming cleaner.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:11746
Uncontrolled Keywords:SOLAR, DIFFUSE

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