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Preserving Passenger Comfort Through RWI Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Mark P. Colino, Elena B. Rosenstein

Parsons Brinckerhoff, New York, NY

Paper No. IMECE2012-85669, pp. 241-250; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-85669
From:
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 11: Transportation Systems
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4527-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME

abstract

The air conditioning systems designed for passenger rail cars typically exchange heat with the outside air environment; when the trains operate within tunnels, the effectiveness of the air conditioning systems may diminish if the tunnel is too warm. Therefore, one of the traditional activation modes associated with rail tunnel ventilation systems is summertime cooling — for the purpose of maintaining onboard passenger comfort. However, summertime cooling modes can be problematic from the standpoints of fan operating pressure (i.e. an opposing air pressure is created whenever trains approach ventilation shafts), energy consumption and emergency preparedness (i.e. fans operating in the wrong direction when a fire is detected).

In this paper, the thermal comfort of rail transportation passengers was studied in detail using the Relative Warmth Index (RWI) analyses to determine if the combination of: warm outdoor weather, the tunnel heat-sink effect, the rail coach design air temperature and typical commuting scenarios necessitated running the tunnel fans in a summertime cooling mode to preserve passenger comfort. If the summertime cooling mode could be eliminated, or even minimized, the tunnel ventilation usage/operating costs would be reduced, the fans would have a longer service life and the system would have greater overall availability for emergency events.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME

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