Energy Efficient Airport Buildings

Fraunhofer ISE Heads Project to Reduce Building Energy Consumption for Airports

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is

working with eight European partners on a project to
optimize the energy performance of building services at
airports. Using clever ICT solutions, the energy consumption,
and the CO2 emissions, of the functional building services and
technical systems shall be reduced by 20 percent. To achieve
this aim, a new energy management software is to be
developed, then subsequently tested and validated at the
Italian airports of Milano-Malpensa and Roma-Fiumicino. Also,
similar large buildings will profit from the results of this
project in the future.

"For heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and lighting needs,
big airports consume as much energy as a small town. The
typical annual electricity consumption is several hundred
gigawatt-hours (GWh) in addition to a high heat energy
demand. The large energy savings potential here can be
unlocked by using intelligent solutions," says Nicolas Rhault,
project coordinator at Fraunhofer ISE. The typical deficiencies
in building services operations found in airports include, for
example, heating and cooling systems that operate at the
same time, pumps that run when they are not required, or
insufficient controls and regulation. In most cases, these faults
are not detected by the maintenance personnel, since the
informational data that is found in the existing building
control system is not used to its full potential. The goal of the
project partners from research and industry is to identify the
faults and weak points in the system and to eliminate them
through an optimized

The first phase of the project, which covered a year of
intensive work, is now finished. The project partners carried
out an energy audit and a technical characterization of the
Milano-Malpensa and Roma-Fiumicino airports. The resulting
data showed that the airports require new methods and tools
both to support their demanding maintenance requirements
and to help systematically and efficiently reduce the very high
energy consumption through continual monitoring and
optimization of their complex energy systems. This need for
ICT solutions was also confirmed by an online survey for
European airports, carried out in spring 2012 by the
CASCADE consortium with the support of the Airport Council
International Europe. The analysis of the online survey can be
downloaded from the website

In spring 2013, development work on a new type of energy
management software based on ISO 50001 will begin. The
software will specifically address the needs of the airports
identified during the first preparatory phase of the project.
Among other things, this system includes an interface to an
automated fault detection and diagnostic software (FDD) for
the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning services. The
software will be implemented in selected areas and systems
throughout the airports. Tests and validations will be carried
out. The system shall support the energy management and
maintenance at the airports and identify weak points in the
building energy performance, ultimately unlocking the energy
savings potential and simplifying the energy management.
The initial investment costs for the optimization measures are
expected to be fully compensated within three years by the
resulting lower energy costs.

The European Union supports the international research
project called "CASCADE – ICT for Energy Efficient Airports"
within the framework of the 7th research program. In addition
to Fraunhofer ISE, project partners are Projects in Solar Energy
PSE AG (Germany), Enerit Limited (Ireland), National University
of Ireland, Galway (Ireland), Aeroporti di Roma Spa (Italy),
D'Appolonia S.p.A. (Italy), Societa per azioni Esercizi
Aeroportuali SEA Spa, (Italy), Sensus Mi Italia S.r.L. (Italy),
Institut Mihajlo Pupin (Serbia). After three years work, the
project will be completed in 2014.

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