SANDPIT-INTEGRATION OF ACTIVE AND PASSIVE INDOOR THERMAL ENVIRONMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS TO MINIMISE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF AIRPORT BUILDINGS

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Design

Abstract

Aviation contributes to GHG emissions and climate change from aircraft in flight and on the ground and through the energy used by ground operations and airport buildings. The total UK emissions from aviation in 2005 were 37.5 million tones of CO2e representing 6.3% of UK's total. Emissions from domestic aviation amount to 2.3 MtCO2e and represent 0.4% of total. Emissions from energy consumption of airport buildings for the 20 largest airports in the UK in 2006 were 0.7 MtCO2e which represents approximately 0.1% of total UK emissions. This energy consumption is mainly gas for heating, and electricity for lighting, cooling and ventilation and many other electrical equipment such as motors. The vast majority of airports use conventional HVAC systems for indoor climate control which are based on gas fired boilers for heating and vapour compression refrigeration systems for cooling. These systems are normally located in plant rooms and rely on pumps and long distribution pipework to distribute hot and chilled water to heating and cooling coils in air handling units and air distribution devices in the terminal buildings. Energy saving approaches in modern airport terminal buildings include: the use of more efficient lighting and its control in response to natural lighting levels and occupancy, the maximization of the use of daylighting, solar gain control, the use of more energy efficient building materials and construction methods, thermal energy storage, the use of Combined Heat and Power systems and renewable energy sources such as solar energy and biomass. Most of these approaches, however, are only applicable to new airport buildings. As most of the airport infrastructure for the next 50 years already exists, maximum benefit from energy savings and GHG emissions reduction can be achieved from retrofit applications to existing airport buildings.This project will investigate and develop an innovative indoor thermal management system that can be easily retrofitted to existing airport buildings and can provide significant energy savings compared to current state of the art systems. The system will be based on active and passive indoor climate control systems based on phase change materials (PCMs) and slurries, and intelligent control techniques and systems that will provide real time control of lighting levels and indoor climate in response to external conditions, occupancy levels and passenger flows.Airports are characteristic for their large and open spaces with diverse and transient population. This and other design and operational requirements such as the maximisation of retail activity dictates that energy efficiency of airport terminal buidings cannot be resolved exclusively by the control of indoor conditions in response to the normally accepted definition of thermal comfort. To achieve maximum savings, the indoor climate control set-points should be as close to the outdoor temperature as possible and this requires the indoor environment and thermal comfort to be defined within an envelope that adequately reflects the impact of external climate and functional, social and cultural context on the passenger travel experience, profitability of airport operations and staff working environment. This project will take all these factors and diverse requirements into consideration in developing systems and controls to minimise the energy consumption and CO2 emissions from airport buildings.

Publications

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Gowreesunker L. (2013) A trnsys-fluent coupled simulation of the thermal environment of an airport terminal space with a mixing and displacement air conditioning system in Proceedings of BS 2013: 13th Conference of the International Building Performance Simulation Association

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Kotopouleas A (2018) Evaluation of comfort conditions in airport terminal buildings in Building and Environment

 
Description The project has led to the development of design and control approaches for the thermal control of the indoor environment of airport terminal buildings. The systems developed utilse thermal energy storage using phase change materials i) embeded in the building fabric and ii) in the terminal devices of displacement ventilation systems. The concepts developed can be applied
Exploitation Route The findings can be used by: i) airport operators and HVAC systems consultants to design more effective and energy efficient Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning Systems for airport buildings. ii) Designers and manufacturers of passive thermal control equipment. iii) Academics and other researchers engaged in research into energy demand reduction in airport and other commercial buildings.
Sectors Energy,Environment,Transport

 
Description The findings have been used by airport operators to: I) understand thermal comfort in airport terminal buildings and the influence of passengers and HVAC systems on thermal comfort. ii) Understand the impact of controls on thermal comfort and energy consumption. iii) make decisions on the most appropriate energy conservation measures for airport buildings. iv) evaluate the impact of passive thermal control methods and equipment
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Transport,Other
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Industry Funding
Amount £55,000 (GBP)
Organisation Unilever 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 06/2015
 
Description Optitherm 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was a collaborative project between the three universities
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of data and information.
Impact Publications
Start Year 2009
 
Description Optitherm 
Organisation Northumbria University
Department Mechanical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was a collaborative project between the three universities
Collaborator Contribution Exchange of data and information.
Impact Publications
Start Year 2009
 
Description SANDPIT 
Organisation City, University of London
Department Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Exchange of ideas and research data
Collaborator Contribution Joint student supervision and publications
Impact Joint publication
Start Year 2015
 
Description SANDPIT 
Organisation Loughborough University
Department School of Civil and Building Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative project. Exchanged information and monitoring data
Collaborator Contribution provided inputs of data and knowledge
Impact Paper publications and PhD completions
Start Year 2009
 
Description SANDPIT 
Organisation University of Kent
Department Kent School of Architecture
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Exchange of ideas and data
Collaborator Contribution Provided inputs to data gathering
Impact Papers and research student supervision and completions
Start Year 2010
 
Description Airports Energy technologies network (AETN) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Disseminate outputs of the SANDPIT-Airports Energy Technologies projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description SANDPIT-AETN Network Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting at Lincoln University on AETN Network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011