On November 26th a group of ASHRAE students were given the opportunity to tour the mechanical systems behind the Toronto Transit Control Centre. This tour was held at the David L. Gunn Building in the Hillcrest Complex given by Claudio Bertoldi, a veteran in HVAC systems for TTC facilities.
Part of Claudio’s responsibility is monitoring and controlling the settings of each facilities system. A building automatic program allows him to see schematics of the inner workings of each mechanical system and it will alert him with any malfunctions. Through this program he is easily able to identify and compare which parts are efficient. For instance, Claudio quickly recognized that “efficient” automatic air duct fans which turn on/off depending on demand broke down often, and tended to have trouble turning on/off at the right times. With Toronto transit replying on its facilities to be working these small failures can have a large impact.
Above – UPS batter back-up
After seeing the schematics of the TTC facilities we were given a walking tour of the building. The building is equipped with an emergency power supply that will immediately start with any outage. It is capable of uninterrupted power through a battery bank and a diesel generator back up. The server room was massive with cables running everywhere, and it required dedicated chillers and an under floor supply plenum. This one building had two air handlers, one on each level. The boiler room was decorated with colour coded water pipes; purple for domestic hot water. This building is also responsible for carrying the emergency power back up for other TTC facilities.
Above – Server room under-floor supply plenum
The most interesting part of the tour was seeing the Transit Control Centre which has a panel of enormous screens lined up along an entire wall, displaying live footage of subway carts, surveillance videos, maintenance at a station and so much more. Directly in front of these screens are the many men and women that are continuously working to keep the city’s transit system moving. In order them to be able to do their work all mechanical systems in the building must be fully functional.
Special thanks to Claudio Bertoldi and the TTC for the wonderful tour!
Group photo with the old Transit Control board