Improving thermal comfort in rail vehicles is an important measure for increasing the attractiveness of public transport - air-conditioning in rolling stock can make a truly “sensible” contribution in this context.
This increase in thermal comfort for passengers requires a substantial amount of energy - up to 100 MWh/a in a regular railway carriage. While modern rail vehicles are already equipped with proven air-conditioning systems to ensure high thermal comfort, the issue of optimising energy consumption has not received the same attention.
Environmental and economic considerations, however, are increasingly forcing railway companies to find ways to realise untapped energy saving potentials, for example in the air-conditioning of rail vehicles. In this context it is essential to analyse the power consumption of A/C systems based on exact performance data under different environmental and operating conditions.
In rolling stock, the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) equipment is the second largest energy consumer after the traction. Thus, it is very important to accurately determine the energy use in different environmental and usage scenarios. Rail Tec Arsenal has developed a standardised testing programme for this purpose. The tests are designed to measure the energy required for air-conditioning and provide the basis for optimising or verifying energy saving measures.
In cooperation with ADSE Consulting & Engineering RTA offers an additional service to the actual testing at RTA to combine the testing with model predictions.
By combining the data from the tests with HVAC system data and meteorological information from the predicted operating environment, ADSE can estimate the annual energy use of the HVAC equipment. The energy use of the HVAC greatly determines the life cycle costs for operation making this of combined interest to both the manufacturer and the operator.
Daily profiles can also be simulated, providing insight into the HVAC operation in typical operating conditions. By assessing the energy consumption of the HVAC system further optimizations may be possible which may lower HVAC energy use. The effect of these options can also be simulated within the model.