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CASCADE ICT for Energy Efficient Airports

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Airport Milano Malpensa

Air transportation is often associated with high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But it is not only the aircrafts; the airports are also responsible for a considerable amount of energy needs and CO2 emissions.


In the last decades, airports have developed as gathering centers with complex and diverse buildings, large transportation networks, energy consumption and ICT networks such as those of a small city. Airports are used daily by thousands of employees and travelers whose requirements in terms of comfort and security have to be fulfilled.

In terms of energy supply and consumption, airports are also comparable to small cities. In many airports energy is generated by large tri-generation plants. These plants provide terminal buildings, hangers, office buildings, hotels, etc. with power, heating and cooling energy.
As an  example, the yearly electricity consumption of our CASCADE pilot airport, Roma Fiumicino, is about to 170 GWh. This corresponds approximately to the electricity consumption of 40,000 households. The daily operation of these complex and high environmental-impacting systems is a big challenge for airport energy managers, who are under constant pressure and need new ICT solutions to save energy and reduce their CO2 emissions.
In the framework of CASCADE, our consortium is developing and implementing new tools in collaboration with two of the biggest European airports, Roma Fiumicino and Milano Malpensa airports, which will help airport energy managers in their daily energy and maintenance operation. The heart of the solution consists of an ISO based Energy Management System supplemented by automated Fault Detection and Diagnosis algorithms. A significant part of the energy consumption of building energy systems, such as chillers, heating and cooling circuits, air handling units and lighting systems is due to poor performance. These systems are currently using modern operating Building Automation Systems (BAS) and Building Management Systems (BMS), but in the majority of cases they are not designed to perform detailed energy monitoring with advanced visualization and they do not detect energy faults and system malfunctions at an early stage.

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Lessons learnt

Report on energy operation scenarios at European airports will be published in June 2012

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Start date - End date

Saturday, 1 October, 2011 to Tuesday, 30 September, 2014

Operational date

Saturday, 30 March, 2013

Source of funding