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Cable Protection against “The Birds” Ensures Night-time Horse Racing

Bird proof flexible conduit from Flexicon is helping to keep the floodlights burning for night-time horse racing at Packenham racecourse near Melbourne in Australia.

Packenham Racecourse

Night-time racing is a vital revenue stream for the 608 acre development that includes a 2400m turf track and a 2000m synthetic all weather track.  With an investment of  £12million in a track lighting scheme, it was vital to protect the power and data cabling to the dimmable floodlights from birds perching on and even chewing through them.

Any damage to the conduit and the power cables installed within them could result in a loss of lighting and expensive maintenance bills, or worse loss of revenue from the 28 meetings to be hosted under lights during the 2016-17 season.


In previous testing for the Australian market, when Flexicon exposed 15 different industrial conduits to cockatoos, the company discovered that the best protection against birds was provided by the company’s FPAS and FPAH nylon PA6 products.  Both of these flexible conduits have a slippery surface, so birds can’t get enough grip on them to cause damage, and both also offer excellent abrasion resistance.

Lighting at Packenham Racecourse

For this project FPAS was specified due to its flexibility, since the cables were run up the inside of the mast and then fed out to the floodlights and exposed to the elements.   FPAS is UV resistant, so it will not degrade over time under the extreme demands of the Australian climate.  The system also offers an IP rating of 66 for this installation.  

Says Philip Cowan, general manager for Flexicon Australia;  “We worked closely with the racetrack and installers to ensure that they selected a flexible conduit system that maximised protection for the cables from not only bird attack but also other hazards, notably the weather.

“A different flexible conduit system was originally specified, but following extensive discussions on suitability we were able to demonstrate that in this instance FPAS provided the best solution for both cable protection and ease of installation.”

The lighting installation at Packenham racecourse offers broadcast quality technology for TV filming with 75 lighting masts ranging in height from 20 to 46 metres.  The dimmable technology also provides up to 30 per cent energy savings in comparison to other night racing venues by dimming them down in between races.

For further information about flexible conduit systems from Flexicon please contact:  Flexicon Ltd, Roman Way, Coleshill, Birmingham, B46 1HG.  Tel:  01675 466900.  Email:  sales@flexicon.uk.com.  www.flexicon.uk.com

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