Metro air conditioning: Stations rely on generators

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By Jay B. Hilotin, Chief Reporter  www.xpress4me.com

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is cooling the 10 Metro stations in operation on the Red Line using mobile generators and chillers rented from private firms.

© XPRESS/Zarina Fernandes Short-term answer: Power generators seen outside the Rashidiya station
© XPRESS/Zarina Fernandes Short-term answer: Power generators seen outside the Rashidiya station

With the deadline for completion of the Red Line barely five months away, the RTA is faced with a gruelling task. The district cooling system designed for the Metro is still not ready and diesel-fired mobile generators are being used to cool the 10 stations in operation.

At the Khalid Bin Al Waleed station, giant tubes carrying chilled air protrude from a row of chillers and generators in the middle of the road before they disappear into the underground station.

Temporary solution

Geo Rental Solutions, an equipment supplier based in Sharjah, said they provided mobile generators and chillers for “more than a dozen” of the 29 stations on the Red Line.

“The train stations are designed to be air conditioned, but the RTA apparently built the train network faster than the cooling system,” said another equipment company official renting out temporary coolers for some of the stations.

Tabreed, a district cooling provider in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which has bagged the contract for providing centralised cooling to the stations, has commissioned an engineering firm to design and supervise the construction of several district cooling distribution networks to service the Metro stations.

No immediate comment was available from the RTA.