The Brussels public transport company STIB systematically updates its emergency lighting in the underground stations and in its technical depots. The underground infrastructure used by the STIB is owned by Brussels Mobility, the administration of the Brussels Capital Region. The new LED emergency lighting is much more reliable and hence safer. The icing on the cake is the ETAP Safety Manager system. We have a full overview over the good operation of the emergency lighting at all times, states engineer Eric Descamps of the Special BUV R&D department (Equipment and Transport Administration).
In addition to tram and bus lines, the STIB operates four metro lines in Brussels for a total of 71 underground stations. In addition the company runs a large number of technical depots for the storage of equipment, spare parts and machinery. "Safety is critical in all these spaces," according to Eric Descamps. "For example, during power failures it is essential to sufficiently light the escape routes in the stations in order to evacuate passengers." Safer and cheaper The emergency lighting installations used to work on central batteries with inverter, which could control the general lighting during power failures in emergency mode. "That system worked well," states Descamps, "but it was expensive in its installation and maintenance and it constantly used power." That is why BUV is gradually replacing the system with separate emergency lighting luminaires with energy-efficient LEDs and their own battery. Descamps sums up the advantages: "The platforms are now fitted with K9 emergency lighting. These luminaires only work during emergencies and use little energy. Since they have their own battery no expensive fireresistant supply cables are required. And the luminaires are installed in such a way that they perfectly illuminate the escape routes." The platforms are furthermore equipped with K9 signage luminaires. The technical spaces under the platforms were fitted with waterproof, dustproof and impact-resistant K2 luminaires. 100% reliable at all times Lastly, the luminaires are connected to the ETAP Safety Manager (ESM), which is linked to the STIB LAN network. In this way, the status of all luminaires can be monitored at all times. "We currently monitor the safety of the installation from a central PC," Descamps clarifies. "For example, we perform the legally required battery tests. In addition, ESM automatically reports any defect on the battery or lamp, which prevents expensive inspection rounds and ensures that we can check at any time whether all luminaires are operational. Furthermore the program provides us with the necessary reports for the safety inspection at the press of a button." The design also matters Brussels metro stations house a few actual works of art. "Each station was inspired by a specific architectural or cultural theme," Descamps explains. "For example traces can be found of big names such as Alechinsky, Folon, Delvaux, Hergé or Horta, among others. It was important to us to find technologies that went with these artistic designs. Also in this respect, the discreet K9 luminaires were highly suitable."