TMB Respira system, Source: TMB

Smart ventilation prevents the spread of Covid-19 on Barcelona’s metro

Smart ventilation prevents the spread of Covid-19 on Barcelona’s metro

The system entered a testing phase on 1 July

As of July, Barcelona is pilot testing an innovative technology on its metro lines 1-5. It is a smart ventilation control system that helps prevent infection, maximises the amount of fresh air, regulates temperature and humidity and ultimately – makes travel on the metro safer and more comfortable, explain Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB).

Smart technologies against the spread of Covid-19

Over the course of the summer, the public transport operator will be implementing a digitization project developed in cooperation with SENER Engineering, which provided its RESPIRA® control system. The project is a continuation of the work carried out on line 1 aimed to verify the importance of dynamic ventilation control, and which managed to lower the ambient temperature.

The artificial intelligence platform deployed is capable of lowering the heat index of passengers and metro workers by defining several criteria and reading parameters in real-time. These include temperature, humidity and indoor air quality in the stations, as well as electricity consumption.

The data collected is used by a dynamic algorithm to predict the environmental conditions inside metro stations (depending on the weather forecast, expected occupancy levels) and then apply the appropriate mode of operation to each fan. The system will be tested on lines 1 to 5, which transport around 94% of passengers on Barcelona’s metro.

Barcelona ventilation control

Smart ventilation control will maximize the amount of fresh air from the outside, which will allow for increased hygiene inside the metro network and reduced risk of spreading the coronavirus and other microorganisms. Image: TMB

Ramon Bacardí, director of the metro network, explained that this is a good example of how technologies can have a direct effect on the customer’s experience. He underlined the importance of the system for a safer and more comfortable environment on the metro network, at a time when passenger flows regain their pre-covid volumes.

For reasons of sustainability and social equality, we need for public transport to be seen again as the best option for metropolitan mobility in the Barcelona area, he further stated, as quoted by TMB. The pilot is being studied by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and should it be successful, it can be deployed to other large venues in the country.



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