More than just a View: VAHLE closes the project on the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel — Ain Dubai

By | September 13, 2021

KAMEN/DUBAI, U.A.E. — Paul Vahle GmbH & Co. KG has completed the Bus Bar System on the Ain Dubai, now the world’s tallest and largest observation wheel with a height of over 250 meters. The VAHLE System includes around 15 kilometres of the U35/600 C conductor system, which was specially developed for this project, with 100 double and single current collectors and almost 100 control cabinets. This system helps power the wheel’s 48 luxury cabins and approximately 65,000 LEDs on the rim. Due to the considerable risks of lightning strikes that prevail in the UAE and at such heights, VAHLE also supplied 1.5 kilometres of specially tested conductors as a lightning protection system. After the successfully completed “Site Acceptance Test” in the summer of 2020, the order has now been completed.

“The work on the Ain Dubai was a massive task and an exceptionally hard and long struggle involving a very tight time schedule for design and manufacture, requiring working 24/7 on the installation onsite for almost half a year. We are proud that we have now successfully completed the project,” says Achim Dries, Managing Director of VAHLE Group. The tender phase started almost four years ago, during which the German system provider for mobile industrial applications had to implement several tenders and clarify the technical and commercial details in lengthy negotiations. “The electrification of the cabins is in place; the entire observation wheel is illuminated and the relevant approving authorities, including the TUV-SUD, have accepted the VAHLE Systems. Our mission — to transform the customer’s vision into a successful reality using VAHLE’s solutions — has thus been fulfilled,” says Dries.

The project team installed almost 15 kilometres of the conductor system, which is encased in high-temperature-resistant special plastic, and nearly 100 switch cabinets on Dubai’s new iconic landmark. Dries, explains, “Our innovative product was specially adapted for the environmental conditions of the Ain Dubai and is capable of transmitting current with a capacity of up to 1,500 amperes.”

On the world’s tallest and largest observation wheel, VAHLE systems are not only responsible for the supply but also for the distribution of electricity. “As in Germany, there are also legal regulations for personal protection in Dubai. At such heights, the risk of a lightning strike is of course enormous,” Dries mentions. For this reason, approximately 1.5 kilometres of an open conductor system takes over the function of a lightning arrester. In case of a lightning strike, this arrester discharges into the ground via the spindle and the support legs. “The conductor system certified by Dehn meets the requirements of the highest lightning protection class,” Dries says.

Standing at over 250 metres, the Ain Dubai is significantly larger than the 165 metres high Singapore Flyer in the southeast Asian city state of Singapore and The Wheel at 119 metres at ICON Park in Orlando. VAHLE’s amusement park experts from Kamen were also responsible for the energy supply systems to the cabins for both Orlando and Singapore projects.

“The next project is already ongoing. With our expert knowledge, we have convinced those responsible for the 140 metres high Sun of Moscow observation wheel to award the prestigious project to VAHLE,” reports Dries. The sub-zero winter weather in the capital of Russia provides harsh conditions that need to be technically addressed with practicable and achievable solutions. To meet that challenge VAHLE have developed a special conductor system which will be heated.