When it comes to subways and other underground tunnel systems, the last thing you want is a fire. If one does occur, you need to be prepared. Tunnel dampers play an important role in regulating tunnel air flow to prevent exhaust gases from building up. In the event of a fire, they also vent the tunnel of toxic fumes—protecting passengers from inhaling the dangerous smoke. Thanks to these capabilities, tunnel dampers are a critical safety mea- sure for urban subway systems, which often carry several millions of people a day. The Riyadh Metro, located in the capital of Saudi Ara- bia, is one such system. The city is home to six million people—and High-Temperature Tunnel Dampers and Switchboxes Are a Hot Combination for Riyadh Metro System
that number is projected to climb to over eight million. With so many people relying on the metro, which consists of 176 kilometers (109 miles) of train line, fires must be avoided at all costs. At the same time, underground tunnels pose unique operating chal- lenges, especially pertaining to fire. There can be no doubt that the dampers—and the components inside—can take the heat. Tunnel Dampers to the Rescue To regulate tunnel air flow, the Riyadh Metro system has installed 300 units of CFD-02T dampers from Flamgard Calidair—a UK-based manufacturer of special HVAC equipment for tunneling projects in the oil and gas, nuclear, power, and marine industries. Under normal operating conditions, these dampers control the volumetric flow of air in the transit tunnels. In the event of a fire, they enable proper tunnel ventilation, preventing passengers from inhaling dangerous smoke and gases. These dampers also extract toxic fumes and smoke away from certain areas and serve as a barrier when closed, preventing the fire from spreading underground.
Tunnel dampers are an important safety measure for urban subway systems like the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Emerson
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