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Zenitel comes from Norway, a land of more than 1000 road tunnels with a combined length of 800 km. We bring more than 45 years of public address experience, and we have specialized in emergency phones since 1945.
Today, our portfolio focuses on state-of-the art VoIP solutions under our Vingtor-Stentofon brand. Our solution for tunnel emergency communication offers a complete system that handles all stages of critical communication between tunnel users and emergency services.
Don’t settle for complicated communication systems with bad audio, overcome the unique acoustic challenges of tunnels with Vingtor-Stentofon’s easy-to-use critical communication solutions!
EU directive, 2004/54/EC, on minimum safety requirements for road tunnels over 500 meters, states the following:
• “Shelters and other facilities where evacuating tunnel users must wait before they can reach the outside, shall be equipped with loudspeakers for the provision of information to users”.
• “Emergency stations shall be provided near the portals and inside at intervals which for new tunnels shall not exceed 150 m and which in existing tunnels shall not exceed 250m.”
Meanwhile, in Norway the updated tunnel handbook N-500 states these requirements:
"A Public Address system (loudspeaker system) which ensures that the motorists (road users) gets a message in an emergency situation shall be installed in single tube tunnels with length > 3 km in tunnel class C and D, and in tunnels with length >5 km in tunnel class B. The equipment should be installed in conjunction with the emergency lay-bys. The public address system is required to have a connection to the Traffic Control Center."
Countries including Sweden, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Austria have been at the forefront of not only meeting these tunnel communication requirements, but also exceeding them. More and more countries join the list each year. The fatal fires in the Mont Blanc and Gotthard tunnels have highlighted the importance of this directive to improve road tunnel safety. Real-time communication such as public address, especially in combination with CCTV, can strengthen the self-rescue principle in case of fire by providing the necessary information and instructions, guiding tunnel users to safe zones.
Our solution for tunnels
Our communications solution for tunnels makes all critical-communication systems easy to use for operators in both local or remote traffic management centers, while ensuring compliance with tunnel regulations. In an emergency situation, the fire call panels can take control of the communication. Priorities are programmed accordingly in our emergency communication solutions, ensuring that critical instructions and messages are heard and understood by the correct recipients.
Public Address System
Tunnel sound systems face unique challenges, however. The public address system has to overcome the harsh acoustical environment. High reverberation times (up to 10 seconds) and high background noise (traffic + fans) can hinder clear communication in emergency situations.
The Exigo IP Public Address system, in combination with a specially-designed tunnel loudspeaker, delivers the best possible audio intelligibility. This means tunnel evacuation messages will be clearly intelligible, in compliance with such Speech Transmission Index (STI) regulations as IEC-60268-16. We also achieve necessary intelligibility levels, most often measured by the STIPA method.
To ensure our tunnel communication system will perform as expected, during the design phase, we simulate the PA system implementation. This reveals the most effective loudspeaker design to meet the requirements for intelligible voice messages.
We provide a cost-saving distributed IP public address solution geared for the environment and structure of road, rail and metro tunnels. By distributing the tunnel amplifiers in the technical niches or behind the emergency phones throughout the tunnel, the total cost of implementing the PA system is reduced. Cabling length is also minimized in our loudspeaker systems, so the installing contractor saves on installation time and cable costs. All without compromising on safety.
Our IP loudspeakers can be placed wherever you need them in your tunnel warning system. They are ideal for technical equipment rooms or escape corridors, as well as for single- zone PA and/or remote locations.
Car-radio break-in systems are often available in tunnels, but can you depend on car radios in a critical situation where you need to issue instructions? Can you be sure all the radios will be on? These days it is just as likely some drivers will be streaming music from a phone. And, studies have shown that people are reluctant to leave the perceived safety of their cars during the first critical minutes of an incident.
Emergency phones are an important part of voice warning systems in tunnels. Tunnel users can contact the tunnel operator directly by lifting the handset or pushing the button. Emergency telephones (intercoms) are typically used to report incidents inside the tunnel. They provide direct contact with the person who can give the tunnel user the right instructions - no worries about dropped phone signals or having to remember an alarm number.
The power of integration
Combining these critical communication systems and adding CCTV is a very effective way to boost tunnel safety. And when you talk about integration, you’re talking about Vingtor-Stentofon.
Our Vingtor-Stentofon systems support open integration standards including OPC, SIP, SNMP, SMPT, NTP, Syslog, G.722 and more. We make it easy to integrate with SCADA systems, which are often used in tunnel control centers. Instead of you having to juggle several microphones on your desk, you get the ease of use of our single microphone panel, which allows you to communicate across all the emergency communication systems.
For the purpose of evaluation and education, all communication across the tunnel warning system can be recorded.
We fully support the push for increased road tunnel safety and put this belief into action through our powerful combination of public address, radio and intercom.