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Thermal & Airflow
Test Chamber (CETA)

SNCF’s Thermal & Airflow Test Chamber (CETA) performs full-scale testing for the freight and passenger transport industry. And we go well beyond rail: our laboratory can also test the performance of buses and shipping containers by simulating external climatic conditions and the presence of passengers or goods.

Learn more about CETA (PDF in French)


The CETA laboratory can evaluate thermal comfort levels for freight and passenger transport. To perform passenger comfort tests, improve temperature control settings, and validate designs, the laboratory simulates:

  • external climatic conditions—temperature, humidity and solar load
  • occupants—heat generated by passengers

Advantage No. 1. The CETA laboratory can run a wide range of tests and record multiple parameters to suit your products and needs.
Advantage No. 2.
Our services go well beyond the rail industry. We can run operational tests, determine K-factor values (thermal insulation analysis), and perform aging tests for any type of system or sub-system.
Advantage No. 3.
You benefit from the expertise of a leader—CETA is one of only three test chambers in Europe that can run these types of simulations.
Advantage No. 4.
CETA’s experience and skill are backed by a range of well-known certifications in our field—ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. We also hold NF ISO/CEI 17025 accreditation from COFRAC, France’s Accreditation Committee.


Got a question? Contact Eurailtest, our business partner.


At CETA, customer satisfaction and environmental protection are our core priorities, and our performance is backed by certifications in multiple areas:

  • ISO 9001 for quality management systems
  • ISO 14001 for environmental management systems
  • OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety management systems
  • ISO/CEI 17025, a standard granted by France’s Accreditation Committee (COFRAC), which imposes a set of technical and managerial requirements. This standard certifies that CETA is competent to produce technically valid data and results.

See CETA’s COFRAC accreditation (PDF in French)

Case studies

Nestlé  Waters Sud

Nestlé Waters Sud came to CETA for a series of climate tests on its Perrier products. The goal: test their response to extreme heat in order to improve product packaging and deliver optimum customer satisfaction.

The products were subjected to several “Marseille in July” summer day cycles, with temperatures of 20°C at night and up to 35°C during the day, using a programmed heat curve. CETA took periodic measurements of the combined effects of heat, humidity and solar load on various product packaging specimens, and measured the effects of temperature on packaging inside the pallet as well.

Our tests provided Perrier with the empirical data they needed to identify the best packaging solution for their products.

Schneider  Electrics

The PV Box is a new solar power conversion system developed by Schneider Electrics. Housed in a standard shipping container, it is designed for use in deserts, mountains, and other areas with extreme weather.

Schneider came to CETA for expert thermal and airflow characterization of its new system. The goal: ensure that the container would perform reliably in any environment.

The PV Box was transported to CETA by truck and then placed in the lab by a crane. During testing, we used a generator to simulate the energy from a solar field and deployed over 80 sensors for temperature and humidity measurements.

With the client present throughout the testing, we reproduced extreme weather—temperatures from -20°C to 50°C, humidity of up to 100% and solar load up to 1120 W/m2.

Working closely with the experts at Schneider Electrics, we pinpointed the strengths and weaknesses of each sub-system in the PV Box.

Nestlé Waters Sud

Extreme packaging tests

Testing consumables under harsh summer conditions

Schneider Electrics

Container tests

Thermal and airflow testing on a solar power conversion system mounted in a shipping container