cmoltay
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Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:49 pm

How widespread is the use of photovoltaics or similar technology by airports for generating on site a fraction of their electricity demand? By nature airports tend to have the necessary conditions for a successful PV system implementation, free land, large roofs, no shadowing structures... Are we able to make a list of such "green" airports?
 
catdaddy63
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:53 pm

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/08/10/...ommercial-airports-in-solar-power/

DEN, according to this article, generates about 6% of it's total need via it's solar panel farms.
 
kearnet
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:25 pm

im not sure what percentage of annual use is generated, but I know both MHT and BOS have Solar instalation on the top of their parking garages.
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point2point
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:44 pm

Quoting catdaddy63 (Reply 1):
DEN, according to this article, generates about 6% of it's total need via it's solar panel farms.

I'm surprised it's only at 6%, with all of the sunshine that is there. However, according to the article, it still leads U.S. airports with this figure.

Hopefully, going forward, this percentage will go upward with all of the land and sunshine that DEN has. And also, may a lot of other airports also find this method useful in providing their power needs, along with wind and other alternatives for energy.

But I guess right now the costs of alternative energies are still high so that fossil fuels are being used for power demands, and may that someday soon change, where alternatives will be lower than fossil fuels.

 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:59 am

If what you are describing is covering the non-tarmac airport grounds in PV panels, there are some problems: PV panels are expensive, so there is a huge initial investment. There is also a safety issue because you need to make sure that if one of the A/C goes off the tarmac, the PV panels and support structures don't, say, pierce the fuel tanks (that makes all parties involved look awfully silly). Wind emplacements have even worse issues, given that they have to be tall.

Placing these structures on top of the airport buildings works a lot better, but involves less available surface area for energy collection.

What about growing jatropha or just using the grass clippings for bioenergy?
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1337Delta764
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:01 am

ABQ has installed solar panels on top of its parking structure. The system was turned on last month.
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SFOHORIZON
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:32 am

SFO has a large solar array on top of Terminal 3, about 456 kilowatts I believe. It can be viewed from the airtrain as you drive by Terminal 3. The electricity supply for SFO is also 100% greenhouse gas-free. SFO is definitely one of the greenest airports out there today.
 
ZRH
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:36 am

Zurich Airport (ZRH) has solar panels on Dock E. I don't know how much they produce.
 
whatusaid
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:42 am

 
cmoltay
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:06 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 3):
I'm surprised it's only at 6%, with all of the sunshine that is there. However, according to the article, it still leads U.S. airports with this figure.

The sunshine also means a huge cooling load for the buildings and huge consumption.   I know about the PV system on ground at the Athens Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos), it is 8,05 MW and accounts for 9% of total consumption. However, when it is producing peak power (clear sky, vertical sunshine) it is able to meet 33% of the peak consumption of the airport, decreasing the peak power demand which is good for the network operator.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
If what you are describing is covering the non-tarmac airport grounds in PV panels, there are some problems: PV panels are expensive, so there is a huge initial investment. There is also a safety issue because you need to make sure that if one of the A/C goes off the tarmac, the PV panels and support structures don't, say, pierce the fuel tanks (that makes all parties involved look awfully silly). Wind emplacements have even worse issues, given that they have to be tall.

As you point out, usually building roofs are covered or open ground not in the vicinity of the tarmac. However I have seen one example where the panels are close to the runway @ US Virgin Islands. Photo is attached below.



Regards,
 
Viscount724
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:16 am

Geneva airport has a major solar project in progress, in conjunction with CERN, the large international nuclear research organization located on the Swiss/French border about 2 km from the airport. GVA airport has had other smaller solar installations for several years. CERN and GVA airport press releases re the latest project below.
http://press.web.cern.ch/press/press...eleases/releases2012/PR07.12E.html
http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-468/1296_read-10048/

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5sXWGvVYbg
Longer version (in French):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyFZv1gWh4c&feature=youtu.be

As a sidenote, CERN is where the World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee when he worked there in the 1980s and early '90s.
 
Beeski
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:15 am

Quoting cmoltay (Reply 9):
As you point out, usually building roofs are covered or open ground not in the vicinity of the tarmac. However I have seen one example where the panels are close to the runway @ US Virgin Islands. Photo is attached below.

The panels at STT are right along taxiway Alpha....one day a 757 is going to rev up its engines....and we'll have panels flying into the airport road (I don't think the Diamond DA-40 I fly is much of a threat to the panels).
 
bluejuice
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:27 am

My two home airports BOS and SJC both have solar arrays.

EDIT: The airport I learned to fly out of, BED, also generates solar power.

[Edited 2012-07-27 18:30:05]
 
CALMSP
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:15 am

Quoting point2point (Reply 3):

surprised? I'm not. It is the biggest waste of money. It certainly hasn't even probably come close to generating the savings to offset the costs.
 
FI642
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:20 am

Baltimore has installed solar panels on their big parking garage. You know, the one you have to take a bus from to get to the terminal.
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cmf
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:10 am

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 13):
surprised? I'm not. It is the biggest waste of money. It certainly hasn't even probably come close to generating the savings to offset the costs.

Time to read up. Plenty of installations generating nice returns.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
CALMSP
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:11 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 15):

yeah right.
 
mham001
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:31 am

The price of solar has plummeted, making it almost as cheap as coal.
 
6thfreedom
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:25 am

Read this some time ago...

Alice Springs Airport in desert parts of Australia has solar.

http://alicespringsairport.com.au/property/solar-power-station
 
Senchingo
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:52 pm

MUC has this system and is using the term "green" airport frequently.

It has one of the biggest photovoltaics ever built for an airport on Terminal 2, covering 3600m² and producing 445000 kWh p.a.

MUC uses electric cars, cars running on bio fuel and other renewable energy sources.

The upcoming Satellite will also have features such as using the passengers bridges for cooling or heating the a/c instead of leaving the APU running, isolated transport stairs which don't require heating/cooling, special walls which use flowing air for heating/cooling etc.

For specific details (german only):
http://www.munich-airport.de/media/d...ionen/de/umwelterklaerung_2011.pdf
 
cmf
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:28 pm

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 16):
yeah right.

You can't rely on PV for 100% of your electricity but if you need electricity during sun hours it is very reasonable to expect 10 - 15% return over financing and all other operating costs. For a home using most electricity during dark hours it is much more difficult.

But hey, much easier to dismiss things you don't like.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
point2point
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:00 pm

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 13):
surprised? I'm not. It is the biggest waste of money. It certainly hasn't even probably come close to generating the savings to offset the costs.

A bit, yes.... supposedly they are manufacturing these panels somewhere just a few miles from the airport.....

And at what point alternatives are on the cost/benefits scale, I'm not sure w/o doing a lot of googling, etc, but hopefully the costs will be reduced drastically at some near time, so that the benefits become more pronounced and decisive, and everyone can start at least weaning off fossils in some measurable way.......




 
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:08 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
There is also a safety issue because you need to make sure that if one of the A/C goes off the tarmac, the PV panels and support structures don't, say, pierce the fuel tanks (that makes all parties involved look awfully silly). Wind emplacements have even worse issues, given that they have to be tall.

Any instillation would need to be outside of the runway/taxiway strip or safety areas and below the transitional/approach/departure surfaces. At most airports that rules out the majority of 'available' space.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
What about growing jatropha or just using the grass clippings for bioenergy?

Jathropha's height means it would encounter the same issues as solar panels. Also, although it isn't picky about soils, it is about location - needs to be sub-tropical or tropical, and it only grows up to around 2000ft. I've seen grass bailed at some airports, I'm not sure what it gets used for though.

Quoting cmoltay (Reply 9):
As you point out, usually building roofs are covered or open ground not in the vicinity of the tarmac. However I have seen one example where the panels are close to the runway @ US Virgin Islands. Photo is attached below.
Quoting Beeski (Reply 11):
The panels at STT are right along taxiway Alpha....one day a 757 is going to rev up its engines....and we'll have panels flying into the airport road (I don't think the Diamond DA-40 I fly is much of a threat to the panels).

Yes they wouldn't be allowed that close to an active runway.

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 16):
yeah right.

Yeah, actually. I've looked into this scenario and the returns aren't bad. One scheme in the UK even installs panels on surplus land for nothing, you then pay a fee (market rate of even lower) per unit for the power you draw and the rest is sold to the national grid. To me though it's the sustainable intent which is most valuable, especially from a PR point of view.


Dan  
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NZ107
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:32 pm

AKL has solar panels on its new pier alongside waste water management. They also have these screens up informing the passengers of these initiatives:

It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
cmoltay
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:27 pm

Thank you guys for all the replies, this will be most helpful for a research paper İ am putting together.
 
aklrno
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:43 am

According to the sign shown above AKL had generated 84 KwH for the day. I suspect the computer tracking it and the display ate up a bunch of that! Even so I think that is about 10-12$US. If that day was typical then its less than $5000 per year. If it cost much more than $50,000 it would be hard to show a profit by my back of an envelope calculations.
 
LV
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:13 am

I think LAS is building a solar area in the buffer zone it bought for noise reduction with the surrounding neighborhood. It's been a while since I've been on that side of the airport so I don't remember it exactly. It is mentioned in this article about a proposal to build a 30 acre solar field at IND.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2...airport-plans-10mw-solar-facility/
 
ANM604
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:26 am

YVR has a fairly substantial Photovoltaic (aka "Solar Panel") system installed, I believe it's been in use for 10+ years by now. They have figured out the key to getting the most out of solar energy is to use it at the right time, for the right application. Solar hot water heating is quickly becoming extremely efficient in the right climates, and when used right it can offer a substantial reduction in energy costs.

http://www.yvr.ca/en/community-environment/stories.aspx

Quoting point2point (Reply 21):
And at what point alternatives are on the cost/benefits scale, I'm not sure w/o doing a lot of googling, etc, but hopefully the costs will be reduced drastically at some near time, so that the benefits become more pronounced and decisive,

Solar panels have dropped dramatically in price, so much so that many manufacturers have opted to either reduce output or leave the industry altogether. Much of this is due to increased demand and manufacturing in China, where "Green" is being pushed by politicians. An interesting article below from a German newspaper on the impacts of Chinese manufacturing on the industry.

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16127449,00.html
 
cmf
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:01 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 25):
If that day was typical

It is not.

The number of sun hours and intensity changes over the year and right now it is pretty much at its lowest in AKL.

Quoting aklrno (Reply 25):
I suspect the computer tracking it and the display ate up a bunch of that!

Assumptions are dangerous.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
OlympicATH
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:52 pm

According to this, the world's largest is in Athens (or at least it was one year ago):

http://www.hochtief-airport.com/hta_en/300.jhtml
 
aklrno
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:30 am

Here's some better info on AKL from a 2008 press release:

"New Zealand's sunny climate will help light the pier through 300m square meters of solar panels on the pier's roof. The solar energy is expected to produce 49,500kWhr every year - the same amount of energy used by three to four households every year! Energy can't be stored overnight, but during the day the solar panels produce enough energy to power the equivalent of the corridors connecting the new pier with the international terminal."

I was off on daily power expected (cmf was right there) if we believe the press release, but 300 sq m of panels probably cost much more than $50000. More like $100,000 at today's prices including installation, wiring, inverters, controls. (All my numbers $US)

The power produced may be worth $10,000-12,000 per year, maybe a bit less if AKL gets a good wholesale rate. Capital payoff is still 10 years (more or less) before interest and maintenance. All inclusive many years more. I don't know the ultimate lifespan, but as a business decision today it is dubious. In 2008 (solar panels cost more then) it was probably a clear loser.

As a public relations move it may have made sense to reduce environmental objections.

I am a shareholder in AKL. Fortunately the PR cost is tiny compared to the money that place earns!
 
johnclipper
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:49 am

I always thought BKK, SIN and HKG were perfect candidates - but don't a lot or any there.
"Flown every aircraft since the Wright Flyer" (guys, if you take this literally, then you need to get a life...)
 
gigneil
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RE: Airports Generating Their Own Solar Electricity

Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 13):
surprised? I'm not. It is the biggest waste of money. It certainly hasn't even probably come close to generating the savings to offset the costs.

It certainly hasn't even probably?

Most massive solar installations repay themselves in a short (5-10) year timespan in Colorado.


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