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   Improved operation control for air-conditioning  evaluated  
In order to keep the air-conditioning system from over-reacting to short-term variations in outside climatic conditions (e.g. when train enters a tunnel), an intelligent control device can ensure a smoothened operation.
Technology field: Optimisation of comfort functions
close main section General information
  close sub-section Description

Adtranz designed an innovative energy management system for the new IC-2000 coaches for Swiss SBB. One of the targets was a smoothened operation of air-conditioning, i.e. keeping the air-conditioning system from over-reacting to short-term variations in outside climatic conditions. For example: When the train enters a tunnel, external temperature sensors recognize the steep temperature change as transitory and the control keeps the air-conditioning system from turning on the heating.

The same system foresees excess ventilation in the case of overheating due to sunshine through windows.


Adtranz (Bombardier).

close main section General criteria
  close sub-section Status of development: in use
    Built into new IC 2000 coaches of SBB and tested successfully.
  Time horizon for broad application: 2 - 5 years
    (no details available)
  Expected technological development: basically exploited
    (no details available)
  • Energy efficiency
  • Passenger comfort
  Benefits (other than environmental): medium
    Increased passenger comfort
  Barriers: low

Taylored solution

Due to differences in control of air-conditioning in different vehicle series, a corresponding control device will to some extent require a solution tailored to a particular vehicle class.

    Success factors:
    (no details available)
  Applicability for railway segments: medium
    Type of traction:  electric - DC, electric - AC, diesel
    Type of transportation:  passenger - main lines, passenger - high speed, passenger - regional lines, passenger - suburban lines
    Applicability to passenger stock is in principle high. However, technical feasibility and economic profitability have to be checked for individual vehicle series. For the latter, the number of tunnels etc. in the operation regime of the vehicle will be relevant.
    Grade of diffusion into railway markets:
  Diffusion into relevant segment of fleet: < 5%
  Share of newly purchased stock: (no data)
    (no details available)
  Market potential (railways): medium
    (no details available)
    Swiss IC 2000
close main section Environmental criteria
  close sub-section Impacts on energy efficiency:
  Energy efficiency potential for single vehicle: < 2%
  Energy efficiency potential throughout fleet: < 1%
    SBB claims that, due to the energy management system installed in IC 2000 train, a double decked coach does not consume more comfort energy than a normal single decked coach even though it offers 40 % more seats. However, it cannot be derived from this fact that comfort energy demand per seat is reduced to 1 / 1,4 = 71%. It has to be taken into account that a double-decked coach already consumes less comfort energy per seat than a normal coach in the first place. A reasonable but still quite optimistic estimate would be to assume that the energy management system reduces comfort energy per seat by 10 – 20 %. In operation profiles with less tunnels (than in Switzerland), values between 5 and 10 % will be more likely. This corresponds to 1-2 % of total energy consumption. However, this is the effect of the system installed in IC2000 including excess ventilation. It is not known what share of the effect is owed to the smoothened air-conditioning control.
  Other environmental impacts: neutral
    (no details available)
close main section Economic criteria
  close sub-section Vehicle - fix costs: (no data)
    (no details available)
  Vehicle - running costs: minor reduction
    (no details available)
  Infrastructure - fix costs: none
    (no details available)
  Infrastructure - running costs: unchanged
    (no details available)
  Scale effects: low
    Scale effects will be rather small since usually every vehicle series requires a tailored solution. The system will be more economic in larger series.
  Amortisation: (no data)
    (no details available)
no data available Application outside railway sector (this technology is railway specific)
close main section Overall rating
  close sub-section Overall potential: interesting
  Time horizon: short-term
    Intelligent control algorithms for air-conditioning in order to ensure a smooth operation can save energy especially on routes with variable local climatic conditions (e.g. many tunnels). For average operation profiles the efficiency effects will be small. Profitability of such a system will be higher if it is combined with other measures (e.g. excess ventilation) to improve efficiency of air-conditioning.
References / Links:
Related projects:  Energy Management System of New Coaches
Contact persons:
 date created: 2002-10-09
© UIC - International Union of Railways 2003
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