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China // Technology

Greening China's High-Speed Railway with CO2 T h e c o u n t r y ’s h i g h - s p e e d r a i l network, the largest in the world, is set to implement a CO 2 -based air-conditioning system

― By Devin Yoshimoto and Angie Tao

W

ith China already established as a global leader in high-speed railway transport, the country is now turning its attention towards making its railways more eco-friendly.

China-based engineering firm CRRC Dalian Locomotive Research Institute (CRRC Dalian Institute) is playing a key role in this effort, having recently developed one of the world's first CO 2 (R744)-based air-conditioning systems for railway transport. The system will be used by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. The following is an interview with Bai Gang, technology research director for CRRC Dalian Institute. Accelerate Magazine // June 2019

//Accelerate Magazine: How did the CO 2 air-conditioning project come about? Bai Gang: At present, most of the air-conditioning refrigerants for rail vehicles (in China and outside of China) have a high global war ming pote ntial (GWP) value. To address this problem, we began our research of the corresponding global policy regulations (such as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, European F-Gas regulations, etc.) and also analyzed the refrigerant replacement process in academia and industry. Through our research, we found that CO 2 is the world's first choice for the next generation of natural refrigerant-based green air- conditioning technology. It has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) value of zero, a global warming potential (GWP) value of one, is nonflammable, non-explosive, easy to obtain and

cheap. R744 is safe, reliable and has good thermodynamic characteristics. In the field of railway transportation, R744 refrigerant can be used as a new alternative refrigerant. The development of R744-based air-conditioning systems in the field of railway transportation is still new, so there are good market opportunities. The project itself started in January 2016. //Accelerate Magazine: What was the goal of the project? Bai Gang: The project was aimed at designing an R74 4 - based air-conditioning system for the fastest class (G-series) of railway transport vehicles in China. The railway transport vehicle air-conditioning system had to have a compact structure to fit in tight spaces. The system also had high reliability requirements, which brought us great system design challenges.

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