Scientists at the DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology in Göttingen are investigating new concepts for air conditioning in railway carriages using a model of a double-decker high-speed train.
Research and testing on a high-speed train
The Generic Train Laboratory at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is a walk-in, one-to-one scale model of a double-decker high-speed Next Generation Train (NGT). The laboratory enables interdisciplinary research and testing of innovative concepts for air conditioning on railway vehicles. Scientists are using it to study issues related to aerodynamics, materials science and medical psychology. Their aim is to optimise heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology to improve energy efficiency and passenger comfort.
Together with its basic structure, the double-decker high-speed train model incorporates extensive measuring technology for recording and processing data. Only when combined do these two components enable tests to be carried out with representative groups of test subjects; the goal is to investigate thermal comfort in rail vehicles and improve the efficiency of air conditioning systems. The considerable flexibility afforded by the use of new ventilation concepts within the NGT’s specific design offers unique possibilities for investigating future double-decker high-speed trains. The Generic Train Laboratory’s realistic interior and exterior structure makes this set-up particularly valuable to the NGT project.
Various optical and conventional measurement methods are used in the tests to record relevant velocity and temperature data. These include:
- LED light-intersection optics with high-resolution CCD cameras and optical accessories for particle image velocimetry
- Laser light-intersection systems for smoke visualisation
- Infrared thermography and sensors for recording temperature distribution on surfaces, in open spaces and especially in the vicinity of thermal passenger mannequins
- Omnidirectional velocity probes
- Relative humidity sensors
- An analysis system for recording lighting data