Delivering Smart Indoor Comfort to the world’s 1st Solar Powered Airport

Friday, 9 April, 2021

Airports globally have evolved from just being docking stations for the flights to becoming an avenue that houses the best experiences a traveler can get. From retail stores to restaurants, from lounges to culture showcase centers, every new airport today is pushing the standard on experiences. But, delivering these uber experiences alongside a thermal comfort inside the airport expends a lot of energy. With close to 100 million passengers travelling through domestic routes every day in India[1] and with the number exponentially increasing, curating a comfortable experience for the guests can be a challenge.

In the burgeoning tourism industry in India, Kerala stands tall as the globally acclaimed God’s own country. Bringing together multiple facets of tourism under one roof viz. adventure, culture, medical, eco-tourism etc., Kerala is one of the more sought-after destinations, within India and globally too. Kerala witnessed around 15 Million tourists in 2017[1]. Adding to this influx and outflux of people are the many natives of Kerala who work abroad, thus paving the way for a better connectivity and a sophisticated sustainable airport. Amongst the international airports in India, the Cochin International sustainable airport is ranked 4 basis the number of passengers travelling. Since its inception, Cochin International airport has grown from having 0.5 million passengers and 60 aircraft movements per week to currently having close to 10 million passengers and 700 aircraft movements per week.

Not just has Cochin International Airport evolved over the years to meet customer expectations, but it has earned itself the distinction of being the world’s first airport to be fully powered by solar energy. With an installed solar panel capacity of 27 MW and with plans to augment it to 40 MW, the Cochin International Airport is truly a harbinger of a better sustainable airport. However, at the Cochin International Airport, it is not just generating energy through renewable sources that is given prominence, but equal importance is given towards initiatives that can help in energy efficiencies. For any airport, HVAC system can be a huge energy guzzler. HVAC system in airports consumes 70% of the energy and hence it becomes imperative to curtail on this energy whilst not compromising on the passenger’s comfort. 

At Danfoss, we are engineering a better tomorrow through technologies that enable today’s airports to become energy efficient whilst delivering uber comfort to the passengers. At the Cochin International Airport, our Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) across chillers, cooling towers, pumps and Air Handling Units (AHU) have helped optimize the energy consumption and the Pressure Independent Balancing and Control Valves (PIBCV) have helped moderate the flow of chilled water basis the number of people in the airport. Together, the VFD and the PIBCV have helped the Cochin International Airport be energy efficient by saving almost 30% of energy.

Further, while the Cochin airport has been designed for a peak hour capacity of 2000 people per hour, the actual number of people keep varying every hour, making it difficult to ensure a consistent indoor climate. Danfoss’ Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) & Pressure Independent Balancing and Control Valves (PIBCV) help deliver a consistent indoor climate for the passengers at the Cochin Airport, every hour of the day through the year.

At Danfoss, we take pride in partnering with the Cochin International Airport in its eco-conscious endeavor towards creating an energy efficient airport. It is also a matter of pride for Danfoss to be considered as a preferred partner for the Cochin International Airport from the perspective of future facing technology, uncompromising quality of the products and the after sales support that we have been able to extend.

Through our relentless focus on quality, reliability and innovation, Danfoss is engineering tomorrow’s India, today.