A recent study by Marcopolo, a world reference in sustainable solutions for the mobility of people, in partnership with Universidade de Caxias do Sul, demonstrates that the renewal of air inside the brand´s buses guarantees safety and well-being for customers and users of collective transport. All buses produced by the company performed above the standards required by ABNT (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas [Brazilian Association of Technical Standards]) standards and are also in line with WHO (World Health Organization) and American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)´s guidelines and recommendations for air renewal and air conditioning systems.
According to tests carried out by the body manufacturer, it was possible to compare, in terms of air renewal per person, the values of a bus in relation to a series of other environments, whose recommendations for air renewal are described through the standard ABNT NBR 16401. The brand´s buses are equipped with air renewal devices covering natural systems such as air intakes to forced systems like air conditioning, where they are able to provide air renewal per passenger ranging from 5.6 l/s*person to 23,7 l/s*person. The data obtained covers all brands/models of Marcopolo´s bodies and the values were obtained considering the conditions of maximum capacity (occupancy), and varying the condition of the static and dynamic vehicle and also the speeds. In this study, it was found that Marcopolo bus bodies provide air renewal up to 63% higher than the flow required in establishments such as supermarkets (regardless of size), bank branches and airport terminals.
According to Luciano Resner, Director of Engineering at Marcopolo, the purpose of the study was to provide safety and tranquility, both for customers and users of collective transport as well as for operators, and to demonstrate that, when used correctly, bus air renewal systems provide the necessary air flow and renewal to help keep Covid-19 from spreading.
“At this delicate time in which we find ourselves, there is concern about the possibility of contamination through the airways caused by pathological agents, such as viruses and bacteria, especially in closed environments. Studies show that the air renewal capacity of air conditioning devices in buses, combined with safety measures such as the necessary distance, use of masks and the correct hygiene of vehicles and air conditioning systems, is an important ally in the prevention of viral diseases, such as Covid-19”, the executive explains, adding that the combination of these factors makes the bus just as safe as other public environments.
According to Rodrigo Pikussa, director of Marcopolo’s Bus Business, at this time, both in cities and regions that are resuming activities and in those that are intensifying isolation, the need and importance of collective transport becomes even greater for non-contamination and proliferation of the pandemic. “The bus is an example of an environment where renewal is applied to improve indoor air quality, helping to reduce the possibility of spreading the pathological agent. Marcopolo´s study also provides recommendations for improving indoor air quality, as well as the equipment responsible for renewing air in the body of a bus”, he emphasizes.
The standard ABNT 15570 for air renewal for buses requires that they have a renewal rate of at least 20 times the useful internal volume of the vehicle (disregarding seats and other internal components). As Professor Alexandre Vieceli, Ph.D, explains, coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering course at UCS, experimental measurements of the flow rates of the renewal devices present in the Marcopolo bus bodies were performed to quantify the average volume of external air admitted in each type of body. The technical team concluded that the brand’s models had flow rates equivalent to or greater than the environments specified in the standard (according to the attached table).
Correct and efficient sanitization
In addition to the importance of air renewal on buses, another determining factor to not spread Covid-19 is the correct and efficient sanitizaiton of objects and surfaces for their disinfection and decontamination. At the end of April, Marcopolo Next, a Marcopolo division focused on innovation, presented FIP Onboard, the first biosafety product to make collective transport safer from viral contamination. Developed in partnership with Aurratech, it uses products with high bacteriostatic power, and can be applied quickly in the passenger area, driver’s cabin and even in the luggage compartment, with