Status quo – Energy management situation at European airports
Air transportation is often associated with high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But not only the aircrafts, also are the airports responsible for a considerable amount of energy needs and CO2 emissions: the typical electricity consumption of an airport is 100 -300 GWh / year, which is as much as 30,000 to 100,000 households consume.
A significant part of the high energy consumption results from poor performance of energy systems like chillers, heating and cooling circuits, air handling units and lighting systems. Currently operating Building Automation Systems (BAS) and Building Management Systems (BMS) have the capacity to integrate a lot of heterogeneous components, but in the majority of cases they are not designed to perform a detailed energy monitoring by detecting energy faults and system malfunctions leading to energy losses.
Typical faults in building operation are, for example:
- Scheduling problems. Drives like pumps and fans are operated during the entire day and on the weekend, even when they are not required and even without the operator`s knowledge;
- Simultaneous heating and cooling. Due to incorrect set points, the same zone is simultaneously supplied with heating and cooling energy, thereby increasing the energy consumption;
- Faulty controls. The desired comfort or planned energy efficiency is not reached due to programming mistakes in the system control, despite correct specification, or the sensors or actuators are not positioned correctly;
- Deactivated or falsely set controls. When problems appear, the controls are often taken out of operation or rudely adjusted, in order to compensate for other defects in the system;
- Calibration is lacking. Sensors which are used for controlling systems give invalid values due to lack of calibration or calibration that was falsely performed. As a result, these values negatively influence the indoor climate and/or energy consumption;
- Lack of maintenance. Due to lack of maintenance, the function or efficiency of the components is limited;
- Lacking hydraulic balancing. Pipe and duct systems are often not hydraulically balanced, especially after re-constructions or changes in use. Generally this results in increased energy consumption and/or decreased comfort;
- Under- or over-sizing. Many HVAC systems are under- or over-sized, this leads to inefficient operation;