Four 2 MW Jenbacher gas engine modules powering a CHP plant at the Cologne/Bonn airport in Germany have reached a total of 200,000 hours of operation, says GE Energy. The CHP plant was installed in late 1998, years before Germany adopted a national law supporting European Union emissions reduction targets and encouraging industries to expand the use of cogeneration.

Three of the engines operate continuously, while the fourth unit provides back-up power. Depending on the airport’s power needs, the engines’ thermal energy can either be used to cover the facility’s heating or cooling requirements by means of absorption chillers.

This approach allows the district heating company, Fernwärmeversorgung Niederrhein, to supply the airport with power at a 99.9% availability rate for the entire year. The system provides 100% of the airport’s heating, 80% of its cooling and 60% of its electricity requirements.

‘The reliability and durability of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines have exceeded our very high expectations for the units and helped us meet our commitment to provide an economic and energy efficient solution to support the airport’s continued growth,’ said Dipl.-Ing Arno Gedigk, manager for power generation at Stadtwerke Dinslaken/Fernwärmeversorgung Niederrhein.

Since 1999, GE’s on-site power plant has generated about 46,000 MWh of electricity annually for the airport, displacing the total equivalent of 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide compared to the same amount of power supplied by a typical coal-fired power station.