Grayson provides Covid protection for London buses

Birmingham-based Grayson Thermal Systems (GTS) has helped to further protect London bus drivers against Covid-19 after developing a new way of pushing air around their cabs.

Commissioned by TfL and taking expert advice from University College London (UCL), Grayson Thermal Systems came up with a way of changing air-conditioning recirculating systems into units that circulate fresh air into the driver’s cab from outside the vehicle.

The company’s team of engineers took three weeks to come up with the prototype solution and was then invited by eight London fleet operating companies to convert more than 1,200 buses over a two-month period, meaning all 9,300 buses in London’s fleet meet TfL’s strict driver safety guidance and new specifications.

Grayson Thermal Systems, which designs, manufactures and supplies engine cooling, heating and air conditioning products to customers around the globe, created a new positive air retrofit unit for each vehicle type and then set about a capacity plan to convert each of the 1,200 vehicles in London. Six centres were set-up across the capital and a 15-strong team of engineers from GTS and Alexander Dennis Ltd were trained for the project. Over a thousand of the buses being converted were ADLs.

Ian Hateley, Group Aftermarket Director at GTS, said: “The loss of London bus drivers to the pandemic is tragic and we were pleased to be part of a solution to build on TfL’s existing safety measures to reduce the potential spread of the virus.

“We looked at our existing air conditioning systems and developed a way of converting them so that they created positive pressure in the enclosed driver cabin, forcing existing air out and replacing it with air from outside the bus.

“Now complete, the modification gives in excess of 100 air changes per hour within the driver cabin and ensures that a wider initiative to seal the driver cabin away from passengers is enhanced, as air is no longer moving from the entrance into the cab area.

“I’m very proud of how our designers and engineers came up with a solution and delivered it in a very strict timeframe, playing a small but important role in helping to combat the spread of Covid-19.”

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