Specialist Mechanical Engineers


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Custom HVAC and Filtration Systems for the Rail Industry

907 Hertzog Street,
South Africa
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Specialist Mechanical Engineers (SME) is a South African company, specialising in custom industrial, rail and military heat transfer, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and filtration systems for use in adverse environmental conditions.

SME prides itself on having supplied products for over two decades, including more than 1,500 qualified coach and loco systems in numerous designs for a wide variety of applications within the railway industry.

Designs include stand-alone modular roof mount, front-panel mount, ruggedised split and under-sling environmental control systems (ECS) for drivers, sitter and sleeper cabins, cooling of equipment, walk-in freezers, under-counter fridges and high capacity / fast freezers.

These custom train HVAC systems can be found in locomotives and coaches, including 6E/18E, 7E, 9E, 11E, diesel 34 loco, diesel 39 loco, metro 10M5, ShoshalozaMeyl, Blue Train and PelaPepa.

Modular roof recess mount HVAC 5kW-9kW with reverse-cycle heating.
Integrated driver cab 6kW-9kW split inverter system.
Rear cabin modular HVAC unit 8kW-10kW.
Ruggedised rail-proven split units.
Sitter saloon roof, under ceiling and cassette units.

Locomotive cabin air conditioners

Units are generally of modular design for service exchange within 30 minutes and can be front-panel mount or packaged roof units. Where required, split designs are integrated with either under-sling condensing units or installed in the motor room behind the cabin. Cabin evaporators of split units can be wall or floor-mounted modules or custom integrated in the driver’s console.

Coach / saloon HVAC systems

For saloon ventilation and air conditioning, multiple modular or split units can be offered or single roof mounted to suit specific car designs. The latest technology high-efficiency scroll compressors are used in tandem for redundancy, as well as effective capacity control in accordance with the load. Heating can be supplied by evaporator integrated elements, separate heating or reverse cycle heat pump design.

Special fresh air filtration modules can be added for heavy-duty and dusty environments, where self-cleaning cyclone cartridges ensure at least 95% clean air to occupants. CO2 sensors add to energy-efficient designs for dense metro applications to adjust volume flow and cooling capacity to actual levels required.

Extreme temperature reliability

All units for rolling stock are developed to operate reliably under extreme temperatures, humidity, shock and vibration, and dusty environments. To live up to this standard, all units are performance tested in our climate-control room, as well as being vibration and EMC tested where necessary to ensure optimum performance and compliance with the relevant specifications and procedures.

Efficient power management and communication interface

Intelligent control allows for efficient power management and communication interface options, such as CANbus or custom protocol to the train central management system. Bluetooth and USB links enable download of system history and error logging to reduce fault finding time and potential downtime. The units are also well protected against extreme supply power and phase variations.

Product support and spare parts

SME offers comprehensive product support with detailed documentation and reliable spare part availability for up to 15 years if required. In South Africa we have established our own dedicated support facilities in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, East Londen, Durban, Richardsbay, Kimberley, Nelspruit and New Castle.

SME strives to deliver HVAC products which are:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Compact and quiet
  • Have a low lifecycle cost
  • Maintenance friendly
  • Suitable for very harsh conditions

Products & services

Specialist Mechanical Engineers (Pty) Ltd (SME)
907 Hertzog Street
South Africa

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