National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction (2010)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14413.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14413.
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3The report presents analysis and findings from the survey data and interview summaries collected on airport energy effi- ciency practices at small airport terminals. It includes details of the literature review, a discussion of data and analysis related to topic areas, conclusions drawn from interview data and other information reviewed, as well as a chapter on new technologies and innovation. AUDIENCE AND DISSEMINATION This synthesis specifically targets terminal managers and staff of small and medium-sized airports. The report seeks to cap- ture and document successful energy efficiency practices and attempts to quantify relative costs and payback time frames for further reference and planning. The goal of the report is to identify real, implementable actions that will result in reduc- ing energy consuming system costs in small terminals. The report is meant to be an easy-to-use reference document for airport terminal managers, operations and maintenance (O&M) staff, aviation design consultants, and members of the public with an interest in airport terminal energy efficiency. BACKGROUND AND PROJECT SCOPE Airport terminals use large amounts of energy for lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and conveyance sys- tems; within the United States, buildings account for 40% of all electrical energy used. Some airport operators have reduced operating expenses by focusing on energy efficiency, consid- ering both energy supply and energy consumption. Some air- ports have used terminal roofs or land areas to host alternative energy systems. Many airports have eliminated unnecessary energy use in airport facilities as a way to reduce operating expenses. This synthesis will focus on selected opportunities by describing successful practices that airports have imple- mented to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs at airport terminals. TERMINOLOGY AND KEY DEFINITIONS As defined by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)—Energy Information Administration (EIA), “an increase in energy efficiency is when either energy inputs are reduced for a given level of service, or there are increased or enhanced services for a given amount of energy inputs” (EIA–DOE 2003, paragraph 3). For the purposes of this report, inputs are considered to be electricity supplied by a power plant either within the airport boundary or supplied by a local utility company and fuel sources used to create electrical energy. Simple payback was found to be a common method of determining feasibility for energy efficiency projects in ini- tial literature reviews and was used as a metric within the airports survey. Simple payback can be defined as the years required for improvement to return savings equivalent to project costs. ISSUES ADDRESSED More than two decades ago, the Bruntland Report, issued by the United Nations, identified buildings and energy efficiency as major areas to save energy resources. Today, reports con- tinue to echo the benefits and potentials of efficiency, includ- ing what could be described as its minimal environmental impact and ability to “displace costly and disagreeable energy supplies, enhance security and prosperity, speed global devel- opment, and protect Earth’s climate—not at cost but at a profit” (Lovins 2004, p. 384). According to Amory Lovins of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “energy efficiency is generally the largest, least expensive, most benign, most quickly deployable, least visible, least understood, and most neglected way to provide energy services” (Lovins 2004, p. 384). However, it does not receive fair consideration, both in terms of realized savings and potential. Indeed, “the potential of energy efficiency is increasing faster through innovative designs, technologies, policies, and marketing methods than it is being used up through gradual implementation” (Lovins, pp. 384–385). When understood in this regard, energy efficiency can even be considered an untapped “resource” such as solar power, able to increase existing capacity and bank power for future projects. The focus of this synthesis is on identifying and listing ways to reduce energy costs at small airports through energy efficiency. Specifically, the survey, literature review, and inter- views focus on the following categories and subcategories developed by the synthesis team: CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

• Energy efficiency in airport operations and capital improvement planning, especially – Methods of identifying and categorizing energy effi- ciency projects and – Resources available to airports for planning and exe- cution of energy efficiency projects. • Energy efficiency practices that can be implemented at low cost, specifically – Practices related to energy management through improved O&M, – Improvements targeting energy use by building sys- tems and sub-systems, and – Methods of energy conservation related to building enclosures. • Strategies concerning implementation of energy effi- ciency projects including – Factors that aid in implementation and – Challenges to implementation. • Emerging technologies, long-term payback improve- ments, and policy direction of note, specifically – Mechanical and renewable technologies, 4 – Emerging project delivery methods for high- performance buildings, and – Federal policy concerning energy efficiency. REPORT CONTENT The report is structured in a manner that will aid in the deter- mination of energy efficiency projects and resources. After discussion of planning processes, practices are divided into chapters concerning operations, systems, and conservation. At the end of each practice chapter, practices are summarized in a chart. Next, implementation factors and a brief discus- sion of emerging technologies are followed by conclusions and appendices including the report methodology and survey questionnaire. A comprehensive chart outlining systems and operational strategies for increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs concludes the appendix. For more information on the report, survey, and interview methodology see Appendix A.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 21: Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction explores energy efficiency improvements being implemented at airports across the country that are low cost and short payback.

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