Calgary International Airport’s annual passenger volume of over 12.5 million makes it the fourth busiest airport in Canada Credit: Marek Slusarczyk

An ambitious overhaul of one of Canada’s key air transport hubs will feature four gas-fired cogeneration modules, each producing up to 355 kW of electricity and 475 kW of thermal energy at more than 88% efficiency, reports Jan Buijk.

An international facilities project now underway at Calgary International Airport is set to put cogeneration at the heart of one of Canada’s key air hubs.

The project, which is the single largest expansion ever undertaken at the airport, will incorporate sustainable design principles into a new International Concourse, balancing the goals of creating more space, reducing energy consumption and minimizing environmental impact.

Preliminary construction activities began in 2011 and the new terminal is scheduled to open in October 2015. Its five levels will provide 183,500 m2 of space and host new Canada and US customs facilities as well as 22 aircraft gates.

A new hotel will connect the new and existing terminals while a new parallel runway will stretch 14,000 ft (430 metres), to become Canada’s longest runway. The plans also includes a new 90-metre-tall control tower. The cost of the entire expansion is expected to total between C$2 billion and C$2.5 billion ($2–2.5 billion).

Cogeneration at the new terminal

Four cogeneration units will be incorporated into the new terminal, which they will supply with electricity and heat. The four high-efficiency cogeneration modules will each produce up to 355 kW of electricity and up to 475 kW of thermal energy, which will be delivered to the building in the form of hot water.

The modules, which will be designed and manufactured in Germany, are being supplied by European Power Systems Ltd, the Canadian distributor for 2G Energietechnik. The four units are due to arrive on site early in 2013.

Cogeneration technology heading for Calgary A sound chamber for 2G modules

Each module incorporates a complete system including the natural gas-fuelled generator set, engine and exhaust heat recovery equipment, circulating pumps, thermostatic controls, oil make up tank, system controls, gas valve train. In addition each module is provided with a sound enclosure, complete with silencers and ventilation system to keep the noise impact to an absolute minimum. System efficiency for each module will top 88%.

Gas-fuelled CHP in Canada

For European Power Systems Ltd (EPS), the airport project represents a major milestone, as it features the first 2G manufactured natural gas fuelled cogeneration modules to be sold into the Alberta market.

After starting up in early 2010, EPS now sees itself as a leading supplier of sophisticated cogeneration systems into the Canadian market. The company aims to grow through supplying complete systems that minimize engineering and installation work and maximize reliability and performance within the market.

Agenitor technology is claimed to achieve 40.8% electrical efficiency and 50.5% thermal efficiency

EPS began as a distributor of cogeneration energy systems, ranging from 50 kW to 4.3 MW. The firm supplies CHP systems featuring microturbine as well as reciprocating gas engine technology provided by leading engine manufacturers such as MAN, GE Jenbacher and Capstone.

A sound chamber for 2G modules

For EPS, Canada now offers a great opportunity for natural gas-fuelled, on-site cogeneration. In urban settings, for example, power can be generated in buildings such as hospitals, universities, commercial buildings, condominiums, wherever heat is utilized.

By using heat recovered from on-site natural gas fuelled generators, more than 80% of the fuel energy is utilized, which represents a tremendous efficiency improvement on the separate production of power and heat, while also improving air quality and reducing carbon footprint.