Cooling Off The Bus Stop

A series of tubes wound up and down as modules in a metal-framed, free-standing wall. The wall is inside a climate-controlled test chamber with a series of differently-colored tubes running behind the free-standing wall.

If you’ve taken the bus in the summer, you know it can get hot while you wait on your ride, even if there is a roof over the stop. Researchers at the University of Seville have devised a way to keep you cooler while you wait.

As temperatures around the world get warmer due to climate change, keeping cool in the summer is increasingly not just a matter of comfort. For the prototype in a climate-controlled chamber, 500L of water were cooled with a chiller and used as a thermal reservoir to reduce temps in the bus stop during the day. Pumps circulate the water through panels when a rider approaches the stop, cooling the space by ~8˚C (~14˚F) over a 20 minute period. Pumps for the system and lighting for the stop will be powered via solar panels and keep the system self-contained.

The amount of cooling offered by the system can be controlled by the flow rate of the water. The researchers plan to use Falling-Film radiant cooling in the outdoor version to replace the chiller to cool the water at night. They also say the system can be used for radiant heating in the winter, so it isn’t just for hot climates.

If you want to know how to survive a wet bulb event or want a better way to determine your bus route, we’ve got you covered there too.

[via Electrek]

49 thoughts on “Cooling Off The Bus Stop

    1. In places where types of mass public transport like buses are economically viable, it’s a good thing if people try and make public transport better to give less reasons to require an entire car per person.

        1. Many reasons. Fixed, infrequent schedules. Failure of the bus to run at all, leaving the potential passenger stranded. Obnoxious or dangerous passengers. Poorly maintained equipment that fails en route, again leaving the passenger stranded. The need to take 2 or more different buses to reach a destination. Average speeds comparable to a bicycle, half that of an automobile even in crowded conditions. SRO. High weight that damages blacktop around bus stops. Stopping at bus stops and rail crossings disrupt other traffic. Exposure to dangerous people while waiting for bus. Inability to make change when paying fare.

    2. Yikes. Cars, airplanes and coal-fired power stations are the #1 polluters. Followed by big cruising ships and tankships. But to their defense, tankships/transportships do at least carry a lot of load at once, which otherwise would require a dozen small transport vehicles. By comparison, busses are the least evils. Except for those old silly, yellow American school buses, which stop at *every* kid’s house. They’re literally wasting fuel.

      1. How much air and noise pollution does a 1.4 L Toyota Yaris emit during 15 min. drive to work when compared to a huge (and probably poorly maintained) diesel in a bus, which operates at least 8 hour shift? Public transportation by a bus is a failed socialist experiment from the bygone era of huge manufacturing plants employing thousands of people.

        1. Pubic transit by diesel bus emits only 2 grams per passenger/km more CO2 than a medium-sized motorcycle does (assuming more than a handful of people are riding the bus). Add to that the fact that diesel buses are on the way out, in case you haven’t noticed – the TCC here in Toronto has been buying hybrid buses since 2006, and currently has 60 all-electric buses. (Before anyone mentions power-plants, here in Ontario there are precisely 0 carbon-fueled power plants.)

          I don’t have exact figures for the Yaris, but the Smart ForTwo with one passenger is significantly worse than a bus with 30. And what percentage of vehicle on the road are the size of a Yaris? The last I checked it’s mostly SUVs and crossovers.

          1. Ehh, not so fast with that claim of “in Ontario there are precisely 0 carbon-fueled power plants.”

            Though it’s true that all the coal burners are gone (thank gods Nanticoke is shut down), and most of total daily generated energy is from nuclear, fully a quarter of the generation capacity is still natural gas.

            Which is a *good* thing. If it weren’t for those gas turbines, Ontario would be in a real pickle, because there just isn’t enough storage yet for the excess wind & solar capacity.

            Hopefully the Meaford pumped storage plant gets built decently quickly. It’s only a single lousy GW and 8 GWh, but it will help.

        2. Hmm … Don’t you think there was progress in public transport too? At least here in Germany I saw a lot of busses using hybrid drive trains which I assume have the same benefits as a hybrid Yaris.

          Also there are many cities with trams and metros which have been purely electric forever.

      2. Huh? I used to ride one of those old, silly, yellow american school buses. They definitely didn’t stop at every single house although I don’t think anyone had to walk more than 0.25 mile or so. Which is uncomfortable enough with a bag of books, possibly a project, and after stewing in your own sweat for up to 1.5 hours on a hot day. And with the number of kids times the number of miles, a few mpg was still a savings and worth it.

      3. Ships are some of the largest polluters, and I doubt your ranking has any kind of backing. Airplanes use JP-5 which is very clean. Ships use bunker fuel which is even less refined than desiel.

  1. Over-engineered. And not applicable in the real world. πŸ™„
    Nice try, though. πŸ™‚

    Let’s just give nature a chance instead. 🏞️
    Plants like ivy can do take the role of a natural climate control unit.

  2. I love the idea of cooling being driven entirely by solar panels. But they don’t really need a chiller, which will cost a lot to install and maintain, they could just drill a deep hole and put coils down it, then the solar panel would just need to drive a pump.

    But yah, ivy is the best idea.

    1. There’s no chiller in the version that will be deployed, they just needed something to fill in for the radiant night time cooling since they had it inside a test chamber. Sorry that wasn’t clear from the article.

        1. That’s exactly how it works. The geothermal gradient is about 1C / 50m. There’s no magical source of coolth somewhere below ground.

          Even the surface is warm already in Seville. They don’t call the area “The frying pan” for nothing.

    1. That’s good, isn’t it? The whole purposes of taxes is to be finally spent on “something”.
      If that “something” serves the public, the people, then isn’t that great?

          1. in the US, libertarians are far right (everyone for themselves, i want to pretend everyone else doesn’t exist) types. that hate governments and think the rich can do no wrong. (they also dont like age of consent laws)

  3. This seems like the kind of thing that would work best in the places it’s least necessary, and be hardest to afford by those who are most in need of it. In lower latitudes in the afternoon if you’re not going to use an actual air conditioner you need to not only block direct sunlight but also block heat radiating from the roof that’s providing the shade, and block heat radiating from the asphalt and surfaces that the bus stop is normally open to. But you still want to have as much breeze as you can, hopefully with air that’s neither humid nor preheated by flowing over a hot surface like said asphalt or your roof or whatever.

    When you most need artificial cooling is when you have a high amount of solar heat, a very high dew point, and the conditions persist at night. The heat index can be bad without air conditioning basically 24/7 for a long enough time to saturate thermal masses, and the dew point can be high enough at night that evaporative cooling is not going to bring the water back down below a certain point by morning. Radiative cooling is hampered if you’re doing it someplace with lots of tall hot objects like city multistory buildings, or if there’s clouds. All of it is hampered if the water exposed to air starts to promote mold or algae or something.

    This seems like a smart idea, but with pitfalls. I would expect that in many places in the u.s. the best we can hope for is shade and a bit of a breeze. Maybe a water fountain that tastes like chemicals at first until it breaks and is used as a toilet and message board.

  4. Haha this is extremely overengineered and much too expensive.
    Why don’t they just release the WATER and let people cool off with mist ?

    That wouldn’t require such a complex system, it’s very economical because it only needs to run a few hours during hot days. Just a tube with a few mist nozzles, and some pipes to connect to a nearby water source.

    A few big healthy trees could serve as natural sun shade, and the water runoff from the mist can be fed to the tree’s roots.

  5. “As temperatures around the world get warmer due to climate change” Seriously? The changes in temperature are below what a human can perceive with their senses. The real issue in urban areas is heat islands.

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