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An image of the cooled shelters. ABC
New cool bus stops on the way in Andalucía, lowering temperatures inside by as much 28C on hot summer days

New cool bus stops on the way in Andalucía, lowering temperatures inside by as much 28C on hot summer days

The project has been developed by engineering students in Seville, a city well-known for its scorching heat during the hottest months of the year

Mercedes Benítez

Seville

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

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Next summer Seville will have a new bus shelter where the temperature will be between 22 and 28C lower than the air temperature even if it is 42C and the ground is at 50C, which is usually the case at this time of year.

The welcome move is thanks to a team from the University of Seville's School of Engineering (ETSI), where engineers have created an "intelligent" bus shelter capable of detecting when there is a user waiting and activating its thermal conditioning system.

In the study 'Thermal conditioning of short-term stays. Radiant solution in a bus stop in Seville' published in Science Talks, the scientists explain that the shelter has an underground tank where waste water is stored. This is connected to roof of the shelter, where sensors and solar panels are installed, by a "radiant" element that replaces the standard glass. The water tanks cool at night and when the water is transported through the "radiant" element this produces a significant drop in temperature.

José Sánchez, an industrial engineer from the Energy Engineering department of the ETSI, said: "With this water we can ensure that the canopy is between 22C and 29C even if the thermometer reads 45C and the ground is at 50C". Sánchez added that the system "is not like an air conditioner, which produces cold air; rather, the structure of the bus stop itself emits coolness, as happens with refrigerators".

It is also a self-sufficient installation, since, as he points out, it only consumes ten per cent of the energy it produces and the water tank will only have to be changed once in the whole summer. And that means, Sánchez stressed, that there will be no increase in the cost of the bus stops. "The design is the same as that of conventional stops and will have the same cost".

Although ETSI has been working on this project since 2016, it will be next year when the first of these bus stops will be inaugurated. The first smart bus stop will be located on Avenida de la Cruz Roja. At the moment, the water tanks are already being installed on this road although the project has yet to be put out to tender.

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