Scientists from the University of Seville have created a solar-powered bioclimatic bus stop that reduces temperature by 20 degrees, providing a cool environment for pedestrians. Instead of relying on chilled air, this canopy uses the principles of thermal radiation paired with smart thermal technology to provide a comforting environment. It automatically begins the cooling process when there are passengers present. This solution is created through the collaboration of solar panels, a self-sufficiency system, and an underground tank.
A research team from the School of Engineering at the University of Seville has created a bioclimatic bus top in Seville that can lower the temperature in its surroundings by up to 20 degrees. The goal of this structure is to create a shelter with better comfort for users during extremely hot weather. The inaugural prototype will be implemented in Seville and will be fully operational starting in 2024, as confirmed by experts.
This innovative canopy is equipped with intelligent technology that detects when someone is waiting. It immediately activates its advanced thermal conditioning system, effectively reducing the scorching heat of summer. As a result, the people under the canopy experience optimal comfort and are effectively protected from the harsh effects of adverse weather conditions.
The researchers’ proposed canopy operates on the principle of thermal radiation, which involves the transfer of heat or cold through the emission of electromagnetic waves by an object as a result of its temperature. José Sánchez, a researcher from the University of Seville, and lead author of the study explained, “It’s not like an air conditioner, which produces cold air; Rather, the very structure of the bus stop emits freshness, as is the case with refrigerators.”
Advantages of Bioclimatic Intelligent Canopy Design
A bioclimatic design or architecture has the following advantages.
- It takes advantage of environmental conditions and natural elements to achieve a harmonious integration with the environment.
- On the other hand, it has a comfortable indoor environment, which requires less energy consumption.
Also See: What Are the Benefits of Solar Canopy?
In the study Thermal conditioning of short-term stays. Radiant solution in a bus stop in Seville, the scientists say that this stop has three parts.
1. An underground tank
It stores the purified water and is connected to the canopy by tubes. They run through the interior of the bus stop and up to the roof. Solar panels and sensors are installed on the roof. José Sánchez said, “Although it consists of more elements, its production is cheaper than common bus stops.”
2. Self-sufficiency system
The canopy is equipped with a self-sufficiency system that efficiently generates electricity and cold water. Additionally, it is equipped with a sophisticated array of sensors that accurately detect the outside temperature, human presence, and the overall climate, enabling it to autonomously make intelligent decisions. For example, it would cease its operation when temperature drops.
3. Cooling system
According to the experts, during the night, the water in the tank rises towards the solar panels, undergoes a cooling process, and then flows back down to the underground tank where it is stored and maintained at a low temperature.
The sensors installed on the stop can detect the presence of individuals. When it detects someone, it uses its cooling system. Water flows inside the structure and cold air comes out through small pores in the metal canopy.
Bioclimatic bus stop that reduces temperature by 20 degrees because during the day, the solar panels store energy to power the water cooling system. The cooling process typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes, which is the maximum amount of time most users wait for the bus.
Innovative Canopies, Parasols, and Pergolas
The researchers state that this space has been created by skilled architects and engineers in order to seamlessly blend the exterior design of typical auto-cooling solar bus stop with advanced automatic and intelligent features. The prototype has been specially designed as a climate shelter, ensuring optimal cooling performance during the sweltering summer hours in the southern region, starting from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
José Sánchez added, “If the temperature reaches, for example, 42 degrees Celsius, the thermal sensation inside the canopy would be approximately 23.”
The Thermotechnics group’s researchers are committed to advancing the development of smart parasols and canopies. Their goal is to enhance the design of bus stops while also creating pergolas that will serve as bioclimatic shelters for children in school yards.
“We are installing a 1,000-square-meter roof at the Arias Montano school in Seville to block the sun and create a cool thermal sensation. In this way, the children will be able to play and teach outside even in the hottest moments of the school period”, José Sánchez explained.
With temperatures soaring to a scorching 109° F (43° C) in Seville recently, the importance of this service extends far beyond mere luxury. It serves as a crucial safeguard for the well-being of individuals amidst the menacing reality of global warming. And as the abstract of the study puts it, “Urban space is considered a harsh place for citizens in large cities in Southern Europe due to the climate change situation.”