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Town Hall misting fans trial results

Posted: Tuesday 21 June 2011

Misting fans trial artworkLast summer we trialled a 'cool zone' at Town Hall Station to reduce the temperature on platforms 1 and 2 during the warm afternoons. The cool zone used misting fans to blow microscopic water particles through a high-powered fan.

We receive a large amount of feedback from our customers about the temperature on trains and in stations. Our primary aim for the trial was to determine if the misting fans would regulate the temperature in our underground station platform areas.

Trial feedback

During the trial, customers were invited to provide their feedback through a survey on this website. A total of 373 responses were received.

62% of customers indicated that the cool zone had a very positive or positive impact on their personal comfort. Over 70% noticed a drop in temperature and nearly 87% thought others would make use of the cool zone.

If you went into the cool zone, what did you notice about the temperature there?

Too cold  0.3%
Much cooler  15.0%
Just right  17.4%
Slightly cooler  38.1%
No change  16.1%
No response  13.1%

If you went into the cool zone, what impact did it have on your comfort?

Very positive impact  21.4%
Positive impact  40.8%
No impact  18.0%
Negative impact  5.6%
Didn't go in the cool zone  5.1%
No response  9.1%

Do you think customers are likely to move into the cool zone on warmer days?

Yes  86.9%
No  11.0%
No response  2.1%

Here are some of the comments we received:

  • "It was as if I was standing on Katoomba Station on a foggy day. I liked it very, very much."
  • "Great idea - effective, low cost and low environmental impact. The stations do get hot in summer and air conditioning would not work or be as environmentally effective."
  • "They need to be on at night because summer nights are hot at Town Hall Station."
  • "The cool zone was very noisy."
  • "Yes there was some noise, however, for me it was a small price to pay for fantastic benefit. Looks crude - but works very well."
  • "To be honest, although it seemed to have cooled the air, humidity and stickiness still feels the same."
  • "This is a marvellous and cost effective idea, the Cool Zone should be expanded to all other underground platforms as soon as possible."

Trial findings

Town Hall staff handing out flyers during the trial periodMisting fans are well suited for environments where the air is hot and relative humidity is low, providing a more cost effective cooling solution than installing and maintaining airconditioning.

In humid environments the misting fans do little to reduce air temperature. We antipicated that the trial would bring a drop in temperature, yet it did not decrease by more than one degree on its best day. Interestingly the perception of change was greater than the change itself.

The misting fan trial did however, increase ventilation and air movement on the platforms and this helped to improve customer comfort.

The findings from the trial and feedback we received will help us to develop initiatives to make customer journeys more comfortable, especially during the warmer summer months.

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