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Air conditioning innovation case study - underground trains


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Air conditioning innovation case study - underground trains

Underground railway system usage is growing throughout the developing world and in many cities the underground railway is the most commonly used form of public transport. The intense service provided on these systems generates substantial quantities of rejected heat energy, from acceleration, braking, passengers, ventilation and comfort cooling. This energy can significantly increase air temperatures within the trains, stations and tunnels. When coupled to high ambient temperatures, this can lead to passenger discomfort.

Conventional air conditioning systems have been used in some modern underground railway installations but their operation has had limitations and leads to highly energy intensive solutions. Conventional air conditioning often cannot be included in older systems through constraints on heat rejection, particularly when trains are stopped in tunnels.

A novel air conditioning concept designed to provide cooler passenger space for underground railways is proposed and outlined in this paper. The system uses ice to store coolth on the trains and prevent the heat rejection associated with air conditioning from occurring within the tunnels. The system allows a conventional vapour compression system to be used without adversely affecting the platform and tunnel thermal environment. This paper outlines the system and shows the potential for the concept using a simplified analysis. This paper then describes the design using a novel mathematical model and the prototype construction.

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