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BRITISH leasing company Angel Trains has developed a refrigerant-free air-conditioning system in co-operation with Liebherr Verkehrstechnik of Germany, and is considering a range of applications on new or refurbished rolling stock.Since air-conditioning was first introduced on British trains in 1971, most systems have relied on vapour compression cycle technology, using chemical refrigerants. In recent years there has been pressure to reduce or eliminate CFC refrigerants which damage the environment. However, alternative refrigerants proved costly and reduced equipment reliability. As a result, Liebherr has been developing air-cycle air-conditioning for German Railway, using aerospace technology.The heart of Liebherr’s open-loop sub-pressure unit is a Motor Air Machine: a combined motor – turbine – compressor operating at up to 32000 rev/min. The MAM drive shaft is carried by active magnetic bearings, which require no lubrication and have a design life of over 30 years. An electric coil maintains the air gap at 0·8mm, and roller bearings are provided to ’catch’ the shaft in the event of any power loss. The drive has been tested for impact loads up to 6 g.The turbine draws in fresh air at atmospheric pressure, and then reduces the pressure to lower the temperature, typically to around 2íC. This cold air is used as a refrigerant, passing through a heat exchanger that cools the air from the vehicle interior. The process air returns to the MAM, where it is compressed to above atmospheric pressure and expelled from the system. Angel and Liebherr agreed in mid-1999 to fund jointly a trial of air-cycle equipment on two MkIII open standard HST trailer coaches leased to First Great Western. A third coach with vapour-cycle equipment was included as a ’reference’ vehicle, and all three were fitted with data logging equipment, GPS location finders and GSM telephone communications. Performance was monitored remotely, giving a very good insight into actual service conditions.Because the HST auxiliary supply is tapped from the main generator, the three-phase supply can vary between 260V at 32Hz and the full 415V at 50Hz, with the available power varying from 14 to 26 kW against a design air-conditioning requirement of 25 kW. Monitoring of the HST on London – South Wales services found that the train was only providing full power for around 20% of the time. Even though the air-cycle unit has a coefficient of performance close to 1, compared to 2 for a vapour-cycle unit, the Liebherr equipment required no more power over a full year than the reference vehicle’s unit.During the six-month trial, availability exceeded 99%, and no maintenance was required beyond the routine changing of air filters. Cooling, heating and ventilation performance matched that of the reference vehicle, with no increase in power consumption and a reduction in noise and vibration. Direct comparisons between two cars in the same HST set showed better control of temperature, with a reduction of peaks and troughs around the target figure. Subjective views from passengers and train crew were that the air-cycle coaches were particularly comfortable during summer peak temperatures.CAPTION: By monitoring the power supply to the air-conditioning in real time, Angel Trains and First Great Western were able to track the performance of the test HST units on the London – Bristol / South Wales corridor
Australia: NSW RailCorp has awarded Cubic Transportation Systems a three-year contract worth A$63m to support its ticket sales equipment. Brazil: Digicon has won a R$15m contract to supply ticket gates and passenger-counting systems for São Paulo metro Line 4. Switzerland: SBB has awarded Scheidt & Bachmann a SFr40m contract to supply 1000 ePOS ticket machines able to provide bank notes as change. RFID and barcode readers will be fitted for contactless payments. UK: Translink has ordered 275 Parkeon P50 hand-held ticket machines for cash, contactless smart card and chip & PIN payment. Gioconda has won contracts to supply desktop signalling sighting and driver briefing software to Network Rail, Amey and Atkins.
In welcoming the Deputy First Minister to The Crichton, Dame Barbara Kelly, CCLG Chairman, was delighted to engage CCLG Members in a discussion with the Minister around the importance of the partnership and the strategic priorities for The Crichton going forward and valued the opportunity to report on the achievements of the Group to date. Dame Barbara Kelly, Chairman of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group said: “The Crichton partners strongly believe that The Crichton, Dumfries and Galloway and the wider South of Scotland has untapped potential to contribute to the Scottish economy and as a group we are committed to addressing the unique needs of the region, our learners and employers and in supporting inclusive growth through continued collaboration. We very much welcomed the visit from the Deputy First Minister to The Crichton this week and hope that he will add his support to our ambitious plans for The Crichton and the South of Scotland.” The Scottish Government backed the establishment of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group in 2013 and with co-operation from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) they launched the Group with representation from the five academic partners; Dumfries and Galloway College, The Open University in Scotland, Scotland’s Rural College, University of Glasgow and University of the West of Scotland. The Crichton Trust, The Crichton Foundation, Crichton Carbon Centre, Dumfries and Galloway Council, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the South of Scotland Economic Partnership are also active members of the Group. The ambition to put The Crichton on the world map as a Centre for Business Innovation and Collaboration is exciting news for the South of Scotland and should significantly contribute to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the region.” In fitting with the theme of the visit, The Deputy First Minister also paid a visit to Criffel View, which is prominently located between the academic campus and The Crichton Business Park, to hear from The Crichton Trust about their plans for developing the building into Crichton Central to create new flexible ways to work and collaborate. It is hoped that Crichton Central will attract new businesses and further enhance the facilities and opportunities for exchanging ideas and knowledge between those in academia and those in business. The Crichton partners are keen to harness the economic asset of an ageing population and to build an age-friendly, inter-generational, knowledge exchange community where people of all ages can work, innovate, invent, learn, live and contribute physically, economically, socially and culturally for as long as possible. Building on over 20 years’ experience, the partners discussed their Statement of Ambition and outlined the priorities relating to sustaining and growing equitable and accessible learning opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the rural area. They clearly identified their plans to increase Higher Education provision in the region and to offer more choice to learners. As well as offering a high-quality educational experience, the Group stressed that in order to ensure the future sustainability and success of The Crichton Campus, all learners must also benefit from an enhanced and vibrant student experience. Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP during his recent visit to The Crichton. Left to right: Gwilym Gibbons (CEO, The Crichton Trust), Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, Dame Barbara Kelly (Chairman, CCLG), Dr Ian Macmillan (Chair, The Crichton Trust) and Professor Russel Griggs (Chair, SOSEP) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInCollaboration is key to the ongoing success of The Crichton in Dumfries and this week, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP met with members of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group (CCLG) to discuss the strategic priorities of the partnership. It was very encouraging during this visit to see academic and business partners working more closely with local agencies and to hear their plans to tailor learning opportunities to meet the specific needs of regional employers. Partners are also committed to enhancing the student experience and increasing research and knowledge exchange activities. Commenting on the strength of local partnerships, the Deputy First Minister said: “All partners recognise the importance of a collaborative approach to delivering Higher and Further Education across Dumfries and Galloway.
Pictures courtesy of JMPUK.