Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - SRC Infrastructure – Cooling The Tube

13 April 2022

Innovation sponsored by RIFT

Photo credit: SRC Infrastructure

SRC Infrastructure – Cooling The Tube (submitted by SRC Infrastructure)

Innovation Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 finalist

SRC Infrastructure have undertaken the design and installation of an innovative cooling solution required for use on the London Underground transport network, specifically on the Piccadilly Line Upgrade Programme. The cooling panel provides a 5 degree C reduction in temperature when installed on a single underground platform.

The underground currently suffers from extremely high temperatures due to the frequency of moving trains, heat trapped in the London clay and a number of other factors. Existing Platform Air Handling Units provided cooling for a short period of time but are currently not in operation due to frequency of failure and high Operational-Expenditure costs.

The innovative cooling panel, developed by TfL and SRC Infrastructure, mitigates its predecessors’ limitations by using extrusion and fabrication technologies not usually found in cooling solutions. The design does not allow the build-up of dust/debris and hence provides a reduced whole-life cost to alternative solutions. The manufacturing process has pushed the boundaries of the UK's capability and has gained further interest in the supply chain as a result.

Improvements in performance, operation and maintenance have been demonstrated to the client (TfL), who are intending to roll out the cooling panel across 5 Piccadilly Line sites requiring cooling. The requirement is due to soaring predicted temperatures as a result of the introduction of a new rolling stock fleet, running with a greater throughput of 32 trains per hour.

The benefits of the product would be received by any metro system in the world but can also be scaled for use on any infrastructure requiring cooling capability, where conventional cooling is not possible due to dirt/dust/debris etc.

The cooling panel is very versatile and can be adapted for use in any environment, specifically within deep tube tunnels the cooling panel has been formed to curved sections, in order to fit into the platform tunnel profile.

The development of this cooling panel has gained interest from government ministers and MPs who will be attending the demonstration of the final install at Holborn Station. The project will be of interest to professional bodies such as the IMechE and IET due to its innovation within the railway environment, something which is notoriously difficult to achieve due to the highly regulated nature of railway environments.

The project has had recognition from government ministers for its contribution the UK manufacturing industry and supply chain. Minister for Industry and MP Lee Rowley visited the projects panel manufacturing facility in Chesterfield where he explored further the projects potential to bring about change and innovation to the transportation industry.

Photo (left to right): Vas Vernikos (SRC Executive Director), Lee Rowley (Minister for Industry), Anthony Adamson (Portfolio Delivery Manager)

Key achievements:

  • The cooling panels outperform the CFD modelling in terms of cooling output/heat transfer (kW).

  • A full installation at an operational station (Holborn) has taken place, demonstrating the panel could be rolled out across the TfL Underground network.

  • The innovative design and performance provides reduced energy consumption in comparison to the current TFL PAHU units.

Client: Transport for London

Project Partners: SRC Infrastructure, Inal, Direct Engineering

Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.

Find more about SRC Infrastructure



About the Innovation Award (sponsored by RIFT): 

Innovation is widely recognised as the critical factor for increased and sustained productivity and growth. It demonstrates an organisation’s confidence, capacity and appetite for improved performance and productivity gains. Innovation is most effective as a holistic approach that identifies both demand and ideas and is most successful when supported by collaboration between customers and the supply chain. More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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