The landscape of modern day cricket is ever changing as the sport aims to ensure it best serves supporters and TV spectators alike. The emergence of different formats of the game means the seasons are longer – starting earlier and finishing later, which is of course not necessarily conducive with the British weather.
In order to effectively prepare for a longer season, teams have to start training earlier which has often meant travelling to sunnier, warmer countries. This is expensive and training on a hard South African wicket isn’t ideal preparation for a damp start to the season in the UK. Equally, training indoors in the UK does not provide the ideal conditions either.
Polygon, a global leader in Temporary Climate Solutions was contacted by Surrey County Cricket Club to provide a solution to the condensation building up and dripping onto a new wicket being created for pre-season training at the Kia Oval. Lee Fortis, the grounds man needed the tented area to be free of condensation to allow the team to create the perfect playing surface in English conditions for pre-season.
Working collaboratively with the grounds man and his team throughout the project our expert technicians discussed the options available to achieve the necessary conditions.
The client had purchased Indirect Oil Fired Heaters in an attempt to dry out the ground within the marquee. Whilst this was increasing the temperature it was also costing a lot of money in fuel and was actually making the condensation issues worse. Our key priority was to eliminate the moisture created within the marquee.
Our first observation was to install the heaters on the outside of the marquee and feed warm dry air into the space on a total loss basis. As a result no additional moisture was being added into the space. Our task then was to work with the residual condensation from warm to cold ambients and the moisture release from the ground.
We installed a desiccant dehumidifier with flexible ducting and a remote monitoring system. On the first trial we sat the dehumidifier outside the marquee and ducted in working on a Total Loss basis. Ambient air was warmed and dried before entering the marquee via flexible ducting. The desiccant dehumidifier delivered the correct amount of dry air for the area and worked in conjunction with the Clients heaters.
Stage Two saw us install the dehumidifier on the inside the marquee on a recirculation basis. The dehumidifier supplied warm dry air at one end of the area and drew in cool damp air directly into the dehumidifier. The moisture removed was discharged to atmosphere via a flexible duct. The heaters thermostats were lowered to 100C and the amount of fuel usage dropped significantly.
By moving the dehumidifier inside and working on a recirculation basis, we were able to create dew points lower than the ambient conditions. By holding the dew point lower there was no evidence of any condensation inside the marquee.
Surrey Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said: “As we were using a marquee for the first time I was expecting to give the programme seven or seven and a half out of ten. However, using the expertise of our Head Groundsman Lee Fortis, along with the help of Polygon’s dehumidifier, I was very very pleased to be able to give it nine and a half out of ten!”
- A collaborative approach has created a replicable benchmark standard for all tented practise areas
- Polygon’s approach has negated the need for expensive overseas travel pre-season.
- The engineered solution reduced the need for the heaters, minimising fuel costs
- Players are now able to practice all year round on the game day wicket.