Good visibility makes for a safe journey

LED lighting improves safety in the Schallberg tunnel

Following renovation work, the Schallberg tunnel on the Simplon Pass is now a much brighter place thanks to LED components from Tridonic. The extensive work took around two and a half years and has transformed the old dark 1970s construction into a modern tunnel packed with state-of-the-art technology. 

The 45 km long Simplon Pass between Brig and Iselle is one of the most important transit routes in the Swiss Alps. This Swiss national highway, which is open all year round, is used by an average of about 2,500 vehicles every day. The route features numerous tunnels, galleries and bridges, most of which have been in operation since the 1960s or 70s and are now in great need of renovation.

The Schallberg tunnel became brighter with Tridonic's high-performance lighting system. (Tridonic/ LEDinside)


Rejuvenating the Schallberg tunnel

Renovation of the 500 m long Schallberg tunnel at the start of the pass not far from Brig could not be delayed any longer in view of its advanced age. “This was a complete renovation job, involving all the tunnel elements. Among other things, we repaired the two galleries, built a new escape tunnel, lowered the road in some places to provide adequate clearance for trucks, and put down a new road surface”, said Mark Siegenthaler from ASTRA, the Swiss Federal Roads Office. Also renewed were the operational and safety equipment, the ventilation system, the power supply, the control system and the lighting. All these were once state of the art, of course, but that was back in the 1970s.

Focus on safety, visual comfort and energy efficiency

The Schallberg tunnel with its new lighting is now bright and inviting. A total of 100 transition zone luminaires and 150 interior zone luminaires from Swiss tunnel lighting specialist Rigamonti in combination with the white reflective tunnel walls create a pleasant atmosphere. The “inner workings” of the luminaires come from Tridonic. And the emergency lights on the walls, the escape route lights, the escape route indicators and the escape exit signs are all equipped with LED components from Tridonic.

The transition zone luminaires in the entrance and exit zones feature new LED modules based on the high-efficiency RLE series and developed specifically for tunnel lighting in accordance with specifications supplied by Rigamonti. The entrances to and exits from tunnels are high-risk areas for accidents because the lighting conditions change so abruptly. The risk can be reduced, however, with the right artificial lighting.

Each of the transition zone luminaires contains two LED modules. They are supplied with an operating current of 350 mA, have a power draw of 112 W and generate a luminous flux of 18,350 lm. Only the last three luminaires in the transition zone are equipped with only one LED module, providing a gentle transition to the interior zone. A striking feature of the luminaire housing is its low-profile design, made possible by LED technology. The luminaires are 1,550 mm long and 170 mm wide but only 40 mm deep.

For lighting in the interior zone new customised LED modules were developed on the basis of LLE modules, with five being accommodated in each luminaire. At an operating current of 300 mA the interior zone luminaires need 38.25 W and provide 6,365 lm. With an emission angle of 120° and a light colour of 6,500 K, they and the transition zone luminaires together generate the recommended average carriageway luminances of 45 cd/m2 in the entrance zone and 3 cd/m2 in the interior of the tunnel, providing a comfortable, safe and energy-efficient lighting solution for the Schallberg tunnel.

(Tridonic/ LEDinside)

Innovative drivers for reliable operation

Drivers from the PREMIUM series ensure optimum operating conditions for the LEDs. The 1-100 % dimmable constant-current LED Drivers feature adjustable output currents and have integrated overtemperature, short-circuit and overload protection.

The one4all interface provides superior dimming performance via DALI, DSI, switchDIM and corridorFUNCTION and also has the ready2mains digital interface. While the transition zone luminaires have one driver per LED board, the tunnel interior luminaires only need one driver per luminaire.

The interface of lighting operation (Tridonic/ LEDinside)

Forward-looking concept

The new LED solution from Rigamonti for the Schallberg tunnel is a high-performance lighting system that offers a high level of visual comfort and has a positive effect on the sense of safety among vehicle drivers. The system ensures compliance with the current standards of the Swiss Engineers and Architects Association (SIA) and will lead to a noticeable reduction in energy consumption and maintenance costs. For example, the LED inserts can be replaced without the need for any tools. Long life is another benefit. Tridonic specifies a life of up to 100,000 hours for the components. This translates into eleven and a half years of continuous operation for the interior zone luminaires. And there is another pleasing factor – the project enjoys a high level of acceptance among the population.

The Swiss Federal Roads Office ASTRA invests around 30 million Swiss Francs each year on maintenance and optimisation measures at the Simplon Pass, especially in the area of safety, and has completed numerous projects on this route in the last few years.

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