Safety first
SetraWorld Magazine

Safety first

Hygiene and protective measures during the COVID-19 crisis.

High level of safety for drivers and passengers: Setra is aiding bus companies during the COVID-19 pandemic with protective doors for drivers, active filters for air-conditioning systems and other practical accessories.

Setra stands for safety, and this is especially visible during the pandemic. Drivers and passengers should be able to continue enjoying travels on-board our buses. After all, they're on the road in vehicles which deliver top-level safety – and that also applies to protection against infection.

Public transport drivers are in extremely close contact with passengers. That's why Setra has developed protective doors for drivers of the particularly popular MultiClass LE business inter-city buses. Full-length, transparent partitions in high-quality plastic polycarbonate, and soon optionally also in glass, protect drivers against droplet infection and replace improvised solutions. In installing such doors, it will again be possible for passengers to enter the vehicle using door 1 and for drivers to check tickets.

The protective doors for drivers are available in both a closed variant and a partially open variant for ticket sales. They are available either ex factory for new vehicles or as a retrofit solution as part of the usual product offering.

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Drivers of Setra touring coaches should benefit from the same protection as their colleagues driving inter-city buses. That is why, since August, protective polycarbonate doors for drivers are available for the Setra ComfortClass 500 and the S 531 DT double-decker buses. This isn't just applicable to new vehicles, there is also a retrofit solution available.

Passengers may have concerns about spending time in an enclosed space and thus about the associated risk of infection. But Setra also has a solution for the climate control on-board. Regular-service buses enjoy an additional supply of fresh air thanks to the regular stops at bus stops. When the doors are open, the interior will be automatically purged with fresh air. If installed, additional ventilation openings such as hinged windows or roof hatches enable higher rates of fresh air flow to be achieved. If, however, ex factory roof-mounted climate control systems are activated, hinged windows and roof hatches should be closed to ensure that regulating errors are avoided.

On Setra ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 touring coaches, the technology of the standard fully-automatic climate control system effectively handles the supply of fresh air. The air is continuously changed. At common outside temperatures between 8 and 26 degrees Celsius, the climate control system uses the maximum level of fresh air, and there is therefore a continual and complete change of the air inside the vehicle every two minutes. Both at low and high temperatures, climate control systems work in mixed-air mode. Here, the renewal of fresh air in the interior occurs every four minutes. By way of comparison: in living spaces, a renewal of air is only prescribed at the very least every two hours, and in offices that figure is only every hour at the least.

But Setra is going the extra mile: upon request, the maximum percentage of fresh air from the roof-mounted climate control system of the ComfortClass 500 can even be increased by a third – this is done by extending the outside temperature range for the maximum fresh air supply both upwards and downwards. Even for Aquasphere systems installed in the TopClass 500, this extension is also optionally possible. It is also available for the S 531 DT double-decker and its S 431 DT predecessor model. For touring coach companies, this additional supply of fresh air through the climate control system has been proven to represent an attractive possibility of reducing the risk of infection for drivers and passengers, even if it does result in a moderately detrimental effect on temperature comfort and fuel consumption. For non-binding information on this topic, Setra customers can contact their personal sales advisor.

Today already, filter systems in the climate control systems of buses from Setra remove particles from the air. New active filters increase this effect even further: the multi-layer, progressively designed high-performance particle filters additionally feature an anti-viral functional layer. This serves to filter out the finest aerosols. Physical tests and microbiological analyses confirm this effect. The active filters are used for the roof-mounted climate control systems, for the air-recirculation filter and also for the front climate control box. Since mid-August, these have been available for order, both for new vehicles and as a retrofit solution. At the end of August, the S 531 DT double-decker will follow suit, as will the S 431 DT predecessor model and, from September, further TopClass 500 models too. From the stated date, Setra will be able to fit these in new vehicles and in models which are already on the market. Vehicles equipped with an active filter are also fitted with a sticker in the entrance area which is visible to passengers.

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Minimisation of pollutants through efficient fine filtering of fresh and recirculated air.

Minimisation of pollutants through efficient fine filtering of fresh and recirculated air.

Especially in modes of transport in which lots of people come together, pathogens can quickly propagate. Regular hand hygiene is thus especially important. The most hygienic solution for a bus is a sensor-controlled disinfectant dispenser. This contact-free variant prevents hands coming into contact with the device. Thus, microbe transmission can be ruled out. The sensor-controlled disinfectant dispensers are expected to be available for order from the end of August.

Before starting a journey:

  • With the engine running and with the doors and driver's window closed, purge the interior with fresh air (with the HVAC system turned off). This takes four minutes with the blower set to at least 50 percent. Afterwards, activate the "HVAC AUTO" mode.
  • Check that the ventilation grilles in the luggage compartment and underneath the spare wheel are clear.

During the journey:

  • Keep the driver's window and roof hatches closed.
  • Set climate control to "AUTO" mode; "SMOG" and the Reheat button should only be used if required.
  • To avoid the "SMOG" button in traffic jams, maintain some distance to the vehicle ahead.
  • The air renewal rate can be further increased by setting the blower speed higher.

At the end of the journey:

  • Leave the engine running with the doors and driver's window closed, then use ventilation mode to purge the interior with fresh air (with HVAC system deactivated). This takes four minutes with the blower set to at least 50 percent. Afterwards, activate the "HVAC AUTO" mode.
  • Check that the ventilation grilles in the luggage compartment and underneath the spare wheel are clear.
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