Vall d'Hebron Tunnel (Ronda de Dalt), Barcelona - Spain - CARANDINI
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Vall d’Hebron Tunnel (Ronda de Dalt), Barcelona – SPAIN

Carandini is once again lighting up the Rondas de Barcelona,l, the city’s ring road, with an intelligent lighting solution for a newly created tunnel. In this case it is the Vall d’Hebron tunnel, on the Dalt Ring Road. The project ran from the initial stages of establishing lighting requirements, and defining the lighting, manufacturing and supply solution, to installation and start-up assistance.

The whole project
began more than thirty years ago with one idea, that of designing a luminaire that would meet the harsh working conditions present in tunnels. Carandini’s PHR luminaire was developed just in time to illuminate the r Barcelona ring roads. With it, and some other luminaires designed specifically for tunnels, it was possible to provide light for the Barcelona ring road in its spirit of shining brightly for the whole world during an Olympic Barcelona.

The luminaires used are still in place, resisting the passage of time and the harsh working conditions inside a tunnel; safely witnessing the transit of thousands of vehicles every day, but no longer quite as efficient.

With the arrival of LED lighting, a new challenge emerged; to conceive a luminaire that would succeed the entire dynasty of luminaires that has successfully illuminated tunnels around the world. The design of the T-MAX began more than 8 years ago; it had to be a robust luminaire and at the same time incorporate the latest technology that would give it great resilience and durability.

The Carandini T-MAX luminaires specifically designed for tunnels, with a wide variety of light flows, photometric distributions and fitting options in order to respond successfully to the many situations that occur in tunnels. Its performance was tested in various laboratories, but it was also field tested in its true environment, a tunnel, using probes to ensure that all the key features for its operation were optimal.

2-module T-MAX installed inside the tunnel

Emergency exits inside the tunnel

From project to implementation
As in all projects of this nature, the priority in developing the lighting was the sizing of the installation to respond to the “worst case”. In this regard, consideration must be given to the most adverse conditions that a user may experience when passing through the tunnel.

These conditions occur when the surface is wet and the sun is shining at maximum intensity from the worst possible angle. As you can imagine, these conditions are very unusual, and that is why at the Carandini Technical Office we call it the rainbow case, an event that allows us to design for the most adverse conditions, although these conditions rarely occur.

To illuminate a newly created tunnel within the city of Barcelona, Carandini had to use all its experience in order to provide the infrastructure with the required luminance levels, without neglecting the determining parameters when assessing the quality of the lighting for an installation. These parameters include uniformity, both overall and longitudinal, as well as the minimisation of glare, which can pose a great risk to users as they pass through the tunnel.

One of the keys to the success of the project was the installation and commissioning of an intelligent tunnel lighting solution while there was traffic during the day. To achieve this, a large team of professionals was deployed from the construction company and other companies taking part in the project. Some of the lighting was located prior to the lining of the tunnel and the other part was subsequently fitted, when the walls and lining were completed.

Another challenge during the entire duration of the work was the passage of vehicles during the day while elements of the control system, in addition to other components on the electrical network, were not yet in place. The work of construction management and the construction company was key to ensuring that the passage of users through the tunnel was safe, even though construction work was being carried out.

Finally, the dates for the installation start-up arrived; all the equipment was in place and connected according to Carandini’s instructions during the technical support sessions. In addition, the tunnel operating conditions were parametrised during various pre-start sessions.

During commissioning, the use of a carrier wave system and the precise installation work carried out made it possible for the luminaires to communicate correctly with the control equipment, thus greatly reducing execution times thanks to the identification of luminaires being made in advance. Thus, once the system was up and running, the most important thing was to consolidate the data and ensure the correct operation of the system in all circumstances. Once achieved, the start-up focused on the testing of the principles of system operation, data integration, and optimisation of the regulation parameters for luminaires.

An intelligent lighting solution is not like a luminaire, which is designed to remain impassive over time. An intelligent lighting solution must remain alive, serving the parametrisation for which it was designed, but also interacting in real time on a daily basis with the rest of the elements making up the system ecosystem. To that end, several training sessions were held at various levels to ensure that all persons involved in the maintenance of the facilities were clear regarding the protocol of action for the most common operations. In addition, a comprehensive documentation package was delivered which accurately describes all the elements and applications that achieve optimal system operation.

In the effort to keep the installation alive, Carandini is committed to the continued support of intelligent lighting solutions installations. That is why we remain in contact with the various bodies involved in the project, adapting the solution to meet all expectations and needs that may occur and to the service of personnel operating the tunnel daily, to ensure that user passage is safe and efficient at any time of the day.

Installation of luminaires with Carandini technical support

Tunnel lighting projects are highly complex and require the work of a team of professionals who can anticipate the various problems that may occur, as well as being involved in achieving the final aims of the tunnel. which are none other that the passage of users in a safe, efficient way. At Carandini, we have been lighting the lives of thousands of people for 100 years, and for over 30 we have been carrying out large tunnel installation projects.

In our commitment to provide tunnel lighting facilities with technology that optimises energy costs at all times, we have developed a dedicated tunnel solution (ControLux Tunnel) that takes the operation of the installation one step further. The latest version of this solution implements adaptive tunnel lighting, allowing lighting levels to be adjusted to the requirements of the exterior luminancimeter, and also to the traffic flow or surface conditions.

The difficulties in providing adaptive lighting in a tunnel with a large influx of vehicles on the Rondas de Barcelona are unimaginable, and even more so if the traffic flow is maintained during the day. That is why Carandini’s experience has shone strongly in order to move forward solidly during each phase of the project. In addition, the participation of companies with extensive experience, and collaboration among the various professionals involved. enabled the objectives to be achieved within the forecast deadlines.

High uniformity ensuring vehicle safety

General view of the tunnel

Lateral addition to the tunnel

Carandini, and the solution, Controlux Tunnel added its grain of sand by optimising installation times, in addition to accompanying the various work teams involved in the project. Beyond the specific project, Carandini continues to improve the solution in its endeavour to ensure that the effectiveness of the system lasts over time, incorporating those functions which are key for the bodies with which we work.

Controlux Tunnel

Controlux Tunnel is the adaptive lighting system for tunnels, an intelligent solution that is easy to install and manage.

T-MAX – Inside tunnel

T-MAX has been designed using the latest in LED lighting, developing a housing that is guaranteed to last for decades within tunnel environments.