SES Software Validation Studies – Is SES Keeping up with the times?

Author(s): S. Fiedler, N. Eslaminasab, A. Golpaygan, J. Habimana
International Symposium on Aerodynamics, Ventilation & Fire in Tunnels, Lyon, France, September 12-15, 2017


Subway Environment Simulation (SES) software package remains the industry standard for one dimensional analyses of underground transit systems, despite the considerable age of the software. Newer software packages are available that can replace SES, which are themselves often based on the publicly available SES source code, with alterations and added features. However, SES accomplishes many simulation tasks at a low cost.

As such, continued confirmation of the SES software package’s relevance and accuracy should be pursued, whenever a new opportunity arises for such validation. Two such opportunities have arisen recently, from two separate projects, covering both the aerodynamic and thermodynamic simulation capabilities of SES.

In 2014 fan commissioning testing took place in Montreal’s Mont Royal Tunnel. A single, newly installed fan was turned on, and the resulting flows throughout the system were measured. These airflow test measurements were used to validate the SES model in preparation for further simulations.

In 2015, design work commenced for one of Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) major projects. The new tunnel will be a continuation of an existing end of line underground section. Ventilation needs were considered early in the project, including SES modelling of the entire underground section, from an existing portal to the new terminal station. To validate the SES model, a tunnel temperature study was carried out in the existing portion. Sensors were installed along the length of the tunnel, which recorded temperature data over 10 days in the peak of summer. These measurements were compared against those obtained by SES.

Both experiments indicated that SES simulations achieved comparable results. This paper documents and presents the work performed and presents the comparative results of SES simulations and the actual measurements.