Green power

Airport World reports on a handful of new sustainability initiatives taking place at airports across Europe.

New green storage battery milestone for Copenhagen Airport

Denmark’s air gateway to the world, Copenhagen Airport (CPH), has installed a battery for storing green power.

The airport is a key partner in the EU-back ALRIGHT project that is designed to find smart solutions for the aviation sector based around the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and smart energy to help combat climate change.

CPH notes that going forward, it will be become crucial for airports to be able to store power from solar and wind energy to reduce emissions and achieve the goal of net-zero operations. Energy storage in batteries is part of the solution.

“We are pleased that we have succeeded in installing the battery in Copenhagen Airport. It is an important step towards more sustainable operations at the airport,” enthused CPH’s vice president of sustainability, Maria Skotte.

“Now we need to start testing different scenarios and find the best solution for energy storage at the airport, which we can then further develop on a larger scale in the airport.”

CPH is aware that the risks associated with operating a battery in an airport are numerous, but is confident that these have been mitigated through its collaboration with Danish Technological Institute, Hybrid Greentech and other partners in the ALIGHT project.

Hybrid Greentech is behind the energy management system that will be used to operate the battery at the airport. This also requires security measures.

The Danish hub believes that the smart management of its critical infrastructure is vital to support its green transformation, noting that Hybrid Greentech’s management system will give it an overview of when it is most advantageous to store energy directly from the solar energy produced by the airport’s many solar panels, and when it makes sense to charge the battery with green power from the grid.

“This is truly an exciting project we are engaged in. It will be a huge gain if we can manage to control the airport’s energy consumption more smartly,” adds Skotte.

“This means not only reducing our electricity costs but, more importantly, reducing CO2 emission levels.”

Hydrogen refuelling trial at Bristol Airport

A ground-breaking airside hydrogen refuelling trial has been successfully completed at Bristol Airport.

The trial, led by easyJet and supported by several cross-industry partners, is the first of its kind at a regional UK airport.

Hydrogen was used to refuel and power ground support equipment (GSE) – specifically, baggage tractors – servicing easyJet passenger aircraft.

Conducted as part of the airline’s daily operations, the trial demonstrates that the gas can be safely and reliably used to refuel ground equipment in the busy, live airport environment.

The trial, dubbed Project Acorn, was in development for over a year and involved many other leading organisations from across aviation, engineering, logistics and academia.

These include Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Cranfield University, Connected Places Catapult (CPC), DHL Supply Chain, Fuel Cell Systems, the IAAPS research institute, Jacobs, Mulag and TCR.

The group intends to use the outputs of the trial to help develop industry best practice standards and provide guidance to airports, airlines, local authorities and regulators on required infrastructure changes.

It also intends to support the development of a regulatory framework for hydrogen’s use on an airfield – standards which, due to hydrogen’s nascency in aviation, do not currently exist.

The data and insights gathered will also feed into research that groups like Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) are conducting to ensure UK infrastructure, regulatory and policy changes keep pace with the technological developments in carbon-emission free flying.

UK Aviation Minister, Anthony Browne, enthuses: “Innovative projects like this are crucial to achieving our target set out in the Jet Zero Strategy of achieving zero emission airport operations by 2040.”

Vegetable powered vehicles cut Gatwick’s CO2 emissions

London Gatwick says that it has cut carbon emissions from its diesel vehicles by 90% by swapping the fuel for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). The switch means London Gatwick will save more than 950 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

HVO is a low-carbon biofuel made from plant waste, oils and fats making it a more sustainable and lower-carbon alternative to diesel.

All 300 diesel vehicles, 85% of London Gatwick’s fleet, are now powered by HVO until they are retired from use. They will then be replaced by electric vehicles as part of the airport’s sustainability policy, Decade of Change.

Some of the vehicles now powered by HVO include all the airport’s fire engines, airside operations vehicles and snow ploughs.

An extensive trial concluded that HVO had no impact on the performance of the vehicles, meaning the fire engines still have the capability to respond to call outs anywhere on the airfield within three minutes.

The UK gateway’s head of engineering, Steve Kelso, said: “The implementation of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil to power our 300 diesel vehicles is an exciting milestone for London Gatwick’s sustainability journey and a big step in our fleet transition.

“It is vital we invest in sustainably sourced HVO to reduce emissions in all areas as soon as possible on our journey to reach net zero for our own Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

“From the buses that pick passengers up from the long-stay car parks, to operations vehicles that patrol the airfield, HVO is now being used to fuel vehicles throughout the airport. As we continue to grow, we are making sustainability part of everything we do here at London Gatwick and we are committed to finding solutions and working differently to meet our ambitious targets.”

Bodenstromaggregat, Battery

Timeline set for phasing out diesel ground power units at FRA

As part of its global climate protection strategy, airport operator, Fraport, has announced its commitment to phasing out the remaining diesel powered units supplying electricity to aircraft parked at Frankfurt Airport by 2040.

However, the nature of the airport’s infrastructure means that it will not be possible to equip each one of the current 255 aircraft positions with a stationary 400Hz connection. At these remaining aircraft parking positions, only battery-powered ground power units (GPUs) will be used.

The initiative has been boosted by €215,000 in funding from the German government.

Fraport AG project manager for central infrastructure airside, Christoph Schiller, says: “The first aim is to connect those parking positions that do not yet have a stationary ground power connection to the electric grid. But to achieve this, major excavation works are necessary. These need to take place during ongoing operations. We are therefore proceeding on the basis that we will be able to upgrade around 12 positions by 2026.

“Going forward, we will need mobile e-GPUs at some positions. With every diesel unit that we remove from the apron, we can save up to 30,000 litres of diesel annually and significantly reduce our CO2 emissions.”

The airport operator currently has eight e-GPUs and around 61 diesel- powered units in use at Frankfurt Airport.

Fraport notes that climate protection a key component of its sustainability strategy. It has pledged to reduce carbon emissions at Frankfurt Airport to 50,000 tonnes annually by 2030 before it and all the other airports in its network operate on a carbon-free basis by 2045 at the latest.

Innovative waste recycling solution for Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport (BHX) has appointed a new waste contractor, Bidvest Noonan, who working in partnership with The Green Block, has installed a Mobile Segregation Unit (MSU) at the airport.

The unit, which enables the separating, washing, compacting, baling, weighing, and electronic tagging of waste, through highly efficient sortation and segregation processes, will allow BHX to achieve higher recycling rates.

The MSU also reduces contamination of recyclable materials, and since being installed, has prevented 264 tonnes of waste from becoming non-recyclable general waste.

In addition, the MSU will provide data insights into the breakdown of waste for individual on-site partners and specific areas, to allow targeted improvements across the airport.

BHX is the first airport worldwide to implement an MSU solution in partnership with The Green Block and has a commitment to reach recycling rates of 65%, as outlined in its sustainability strategy.

Tom Denton, head of sustainability at Birmingham Airport, said: “Birmingham Airport is committed to improving recycling rates, focusing primarily on reducing and re-using waste, then recycling wherever possible. Our Sustainability Strategy sets out our waste, supply chain and circular economy commitments, and we are always determined to find innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact.”

Go to Source...