Reviewing The Heating System Of Vancouver Airport Construction Essay

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Vancouver is Canada's second busiest airport, with some 16.9 million passengers (including same plane transit), approximately 222,900 tonnes of cargo and 270,000 take-offs and landings in 2006.

Vancouver Airport Authority has installed a solar powered hot water heating system. The solar system includes 100 panels which have been placed on the roof of the domestic terminal building. This helps to transform the heat and energy to an average of 800 gallons of hot water each hour.

As result of the solar panels, the airport has estimated the project contributes to savings of nearly $90,000 which is 8,569 GJ per year. In 2002, the Airport Authority was nominated by energy provider BC Hydro as their first "Power Smart Certified" customer.

The solar powered hot water heating system, with the implementation of night time setbacks, CO2 sensors, and improved scheduling and system tune ups, has led to a decrease of natural gas use in the airport's domestic terminal by nearly 30% since 2001.

Other energy efficiency project at Vancouver is to identify and apply energy reduction initiatives. This has been achieved through energy efficient work activities, purchasing choices or design decisions for future facilities.

The energy reduction team also works to educate staff about the environmental, performance and financial benefits of energy efficiency and conservation, both at work and at home. The team conducts surprise energy audits and provides employees with specific tips for reducing energy consumption at each workstation. Projects led by the energy reduction team in 2005 included:

Installation of low-energy Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lighting on several taxiways;

Installation of more efficient, brighter lighting on Levels 2 and 3 of the car parking structure;

Upgrades to the chilled water distribution system;

Replacement of all Airport Authority computer equipment with newer, more efficient models.

It is estimated that these upgrades save more than 800,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually and, in the case of the taxiway LEDs, may also reduce maintenance costs. In long term, new projects underway or planned include exterior and interior lighting replacements. In 2006, the Airport Authority completed a review of energy management practices.

San Francisco Airport

San Francisco International Airport is in the process of installing a 445kW solar array. The 2,832 solar panels will be placed on the roof of the Domestic Terminal 3 building. In conjunction with a newly completed project to replace over 6,000 old lighting fixtures with more efficient, brighter lighting, the solar system will provide enough power for all daytime lighting needs within Terminal 3.

The city owned solar array will contribute approximately 628,000 kilowatt hours (kwhr) yearly of totally "green", non-polluting electrical power while also reducing 7,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide over its 30 year life. This is the second solar system at the airport. In September 2001, a smaller 20kW system was installed upon the roof of the engineering building. The system has been running ever since providing power to the buildings daytime lighting load and with overall savings to date of 150,000 kwhr.

The airport also provides 400 Hz ground power units at all of its gates and pre-conditioned air at most gates, which avoids the use of aircraft auxiliary power units, reducing fuel usage. Since the airport's power source is solar energy, a significant reduction in CO2 emission is realised. This project has potential to save up to 37,000 tonnes of CO2.

Paris-Orly Airport

The 650 meals prepared at Paris-Orly South staff canteen require about 5,000 litres of hot water per day. Previously, this hot water was supplied by two hot water tanks connected to 240-watt electrical resistors operating during cut-rate electricity time. A solar water heater coupled to the system now makes substantial savings.

The south-facing roof of the building now has 80 m2 of thermal solar panels angled at 45°. A fluid flowing through dedicated pipes carries the absorbed heat and releases it in a separate hot water storage tank. If the water is not hot enough, an electric resistor increases the temperature. The results are extremely encouraging: 42% of the restaurant's annual needs are met by the solar cells, representing a saving of 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Controlling power consumption to produce a wider effort

Aéroports de Paris has committed itself to a 20% reduction in energy consumption in its terminals by 2010 (compared with 2004 levels).

To achieve this, an 8-point programme of technical proposals has been developed; it implies actions such as awareness-raising campaigns on energy savings including a profound change in work practices and specific training sessions for 75 specialists.

As a starting experiment, a number of energy saving actions were taken during the refurbishing of Hall 2 at Paris-Orly airport (installing 4,200 low energy consumption light bulbs, electrictronically-controlled lighting levels, uncoupling strip lights, improving heat insulation, installing automatic doors, installing controlled hot air curtains, airflow return). As a result, Paris-Orly airport reduced its internal total consumption of energy used for electricity, heating, cooling by 6% between 2005 and 2006.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport carried out energy audits in Terminals 1 and 2F, highlighting potential energy savings. Consequently, between 2005 and 2006, a total reduction of around 4% in energy consumption was achieved by selecting the most suitable power supply according to the lifespan of the building and alternative, efficient management of air conditioning to reduce power consumption.

Eco House in Penrhos (Gwent)

This innovative timber framed house in Wales was designed by architects EcoArc of York, for client David Johnson. The vision was to produce a self-sufficient dwelling that has minimal effect on the environment.

To achieve this, the house needed to be virtually independent in terms of electricity generation, space heating, hot and cold water supply and the processing of sewage.

Key to the concept is the use of 'complementary' renewable sources which provide energy in most weather conditions.

A wind turbine and solar PV array combine to supply the majority of the annual electrical needs of the house including cooking; whilst additional evacuated tube solar panels contribute significantly to the hot water requirements.

Wind and solar energy specialist Wind & Sun Ltd were commissioned to design and install the stand-alone renewable energy systems. Because the site is relatively open, the solar resource is good.

The technology

The 2.5kW wind turbine and 2.1kWp PV array feed a 17kWh battery set which stores energy. An inverter converts the DC output to 230V AC when there is an electrical demand. In the event of batteries running low, perhaps due to successive overcast and windless days, there is a connection to the grid which will charge the batteries and supply any electrical demand from the house until the turbine and solar panels are able to take over.

Once the batteries are fully charged, any surplus is diverted to a multi-stage immersion heater to assist in the heating of the domestic hot water supply. System performance and the amount of power available from the batteries can be monitored from a sophisticated display inside the house.


The overall building costs of this house were £175,000, or £683/m2. In the absence of funding at the time, these were met by the owner. The cost is comparable with other architect designed one-off houses. A further £24,000 was needed for the design, supply and installation of the wind turbine, photovoltaic array and solar hot water panels.

The capital cost of the renewable technologies make it unlikely that the client will see a financial return on his investment.

However, by making minor compromises to lifestyle (for example, putting off non-essential tasks that consume a large amount of power if the batteries are low), the owner is able to live completely off energy from the wind and sun for eight to ten months of the year.

The Green Train

The Zero Emissions 2020 Plan commits the city to develop a 'clean air' plan for public transport, including the use of public transport links to the airport.

In 2003, San Francisco city government inaugurated service on an automated people mover called Air-Train between terminals, car parks and the car rental facilities. This service eliminated 200,000 shuttle trips from the terminal loop annually, preventing the release of 565 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The completion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to the airport in 2003 has allowed 215,000 people a month to travel to and from the airport via public transport. It has been estimated that this development has taken away 64.5 million car miles and 28,947 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Airtrain is the greener way to get to and from Airports. These trains are 3.9 times more energy efficient than cars, with considerable greenhouse gas savings. 90% of transport greenhouse gasses are attributed to cars, while only 2.5% is attributed to rail.

Research conducted by The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology shows that Airtrain has removed 114 million vehicles on the road during the first five years of its operations. This means the production of more than 23.7 million kilograms of greenhouse gas were prevented by passengers using Airtrain.

Solar panels could be installed on the roof the train to contribute in charging the batteries. Airtrain offers a significant alternative to road transport, this will avoid:

vehicle-kilometres travelled on the road system: This could come up to 113.89 millions

vehicle fuel consumption: 10.6 million litres every 5 years

vehicle emissions: 23,700 tonnes CO2 Using a value of $35/tonne, the value of avoided emissions: $0.8M

Prisons using solar energy

Central Jail in Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, India recently installed a solar hot water system that feeds into the kitchen and provides 2,500 litres of hot water, enough to supply all the hot water needed to make tea and meals for 3,000 inmates. Having solar power eliminates the need for 3.5 liquefied petroleum gas cylinders per day. The idea came from the jail director, who has a master's degree in Radio Physics and Electronics. He enlisted the prisoners to build it.

Moreover, Due to the success of this project, Bhopal plans to convert all eight of its central jails in Madhya Pradesh with similar solar systems, as well as deliver 1,000 litres of water per day to 22 district jails and 500 litres per day to 92 subordinate jails around the state.

In June 2008, Ironwood State Prison pushed the button on a 1.18 megawatt photovoltaic solar power system built by SunEdison. The Ironwood system utilizes 6,200 panels and is completely carbon-footprint free.

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison's solar system, also built by SunEdison, is projected to offset over 31 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years, which the provider says is the equivalent of eliminating 3,100 cars from the road.

Norway was the first country on record to turn a prison green through the use of solar power, in 2007. The facility, which houses roughly 115 inmates, sits on the island of Bastoey, about 46 miles south of Oslo. The solar panels cut the facility's electricity needs there by 70%.

Meanwhile, in Zambia, the African Prisons Project is currently raising funds to install solar panels that will fuel low-ecology lighting in prison cells there. "The national power grid in Zambia is not very good and regularly suffers from power cuts," the African Prisons Project explains on its website. "Using the power from the sun will mean that the prisons have a reliable source of electricity and the running cost of the new developments will remain low."