Through various projects, airsight has globally aided airports, including those in Germany, in assessing the suitability of underutilized spaces near aircraft movement zones and terminal/airport building roofs for PV systems. Our work encompasses feasibility studies, potential assessments, and approval planning for these airport-based solar PV projects. We've also collaborated with clients to establish requirements for PV systems in safety-critical areas adjacent to runways.
Over the last 12 months, airsight's PV projects have cumulatively yielded around 500 MWp. The trend is on the move, as more and more airports are considering PV (photovoltaic) as their primary source of renewable energy.
Our five-step approach empowers airport operators and PV project developers to assess solar energy potential. We ensure compliance with aviation regulations, handle technical constraints, meet stakeholder expectations, address ecological requirements, and align with airport master plans. This iterative process, often in collaboration with PV planners, enables a deep understanding of the predicted solar energy yield, even in challenging airport environments.
1. Identification of potential areas
Initially, we locate and assess open spaces near aircraft movement areas within the airport perimeter, adhering to safety distances outlined by ICAO Annex 14, EASA CS-ADR-DSN, and national aviation regulations. We also factor in safeguarding distances for essential infrastructure like meteorological and CNS-Equipment to ensure their continuous availability, continuity and integrity, vital for airport safety and readiness. This process aligns with long-term airport masterplan development, as the PV systems are designed for at least 30 years of use.
2. Glint & Glare Assessment
Second, we determine potential areas, including roofs, walls, and building facades, and establish panel tilt, orientation, and reflectivity requirements through detailed glint and glare analysis. This assessment encompasses glare risks for approaching aircraft and ATC operators, but also taxiing aircraft, apron control, airport ground traffic, and road/rail traffic if relevant. By optimizing PV system specifications, we ensure glare and reflections do not disrupt air traffic or its operations.
3. CNS Impact Assessment
We analyze PV system impact on ILS performance with a predefined layout incorporating PV panel angles from glint & glare assessments. Our assessment utilizes physical-optical simulations, addressing multipath effects, identifying layout constraints affecting ILS. Upon request by clients or ANSP, we provide comprehensive numerical full-wave simulations through our partner network to refine the system further.
4. Operational Considerations
Commencing with a holistic approach, our focus is on maintaining the integrity of ground and apron operations. Through simulations, we fortify PV systems against the effects of jet blasts. Additionally, we seamlessly integrate elements such as Rescue Fire Fighting and Emergency Response into the design. Collaborating closely with our partner network, we address concerns regarding wildlife and flora, ultimately ensuring the prevention of disruptions and bird strikes resulting from PV systems.
5. Stakeholder Engagement and Partner Networks
The installation of PV systems at airports requires the involvement of relevant stakeholders. It is imperative that their needs, requirements and reservations are taken into account when designing the PV systems. Within the scope of our PV related projects, we are the central pivot and anchor point between the airport-related user groups and the external planners, operators and users of PV systems.
The transition to renewable energy has come to airports. We're here to guide you through this journey, considering the unique and complex aviation requirements. Feel free to reach out via email to discuss your projects in this area.