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The cogeneration plant produces electricity and heat, enough to meet 90% of the airport city's energy needs.
The "Leonardo da Vinci" airport in Fiumicino can be thought of as a "city" of roughly the dimensions of Cagliari: its total surface area is equal to 1,600 hectares, with 250,000 sq m of terminals. Every day, the volume of business conducted on the airport premises – including passenger traffic, airport operators and related activities – requires an energy supply of between 21 and 26 megawatts.
The cogeneration plant produces energy at a lower cost, with less impact and more sustainably, and, above all, it reduces the airport's dependence on the electricity grid.
The plant, designed to produce electricity and gas either independently or in combination, is fueled by natural gas. It is a high-tech integrated system that produces electricity and heat in two distinct phases, with a large reduction in atmospheric emissions per unit of energy produced. In a second stage, two absorbers were added, which utilize the heat produced during the warm season to generate the cool air needed to air condition some of the airport buildings. The power plant qualifies the airport for 'green certificates', the energy bonds issued by GSE to plants pioneering combined energy production. This is known as district heating and involves the redistribution of thermal energy for public use.
- The cogeneration plant is located in an area of over 2,000 sq m, on the airport grounds, near the existing thermal power plant, to the southwest, in the direction of the city of Fiumicino.
- The airport service tunnels form an underground network for electrical and IT connections and hot water conduits. The tunnels extend for a total length of 4,500 meters.
- On the ground floor of the roofed-in area there are spaces destined for office use, controls, warehousing and services. This area also contains the 3 modular cogeneration groups, each housed in its own space.
- Each group is composed of a Rolls-Royce engine with 20 cylinders of 770 dm3 each in a V format, fueled by natural gas (methane), weighing 133 tons and delivering 8,526 Kw of power.
- The energy is recovered thanks to 3 auxiliary boilers (one for each motor, with a capacity of 5 thermal MWatt), which utilize the heat of the discharged gas, which would otherwise be lost. Water enters at 92° and exits at 130° C. The discharge fumes are emitted through 3 stacks. Before being emitted into the atmosphere, the gas residue is chemically treated. Emissions are scrupulously monitored in accordance with the applicable laws.
- The two new single-phase absorption groups, fueled by hot water, serve each of the substations, one at Terminal 1 (ex A) and 3 (ex C) , for a total refrigerating power of 4,404 kW and 3,502 kW, respectively. The groups will help to cover the basic air conditioning demand in the summer months and may also contribute to the air treatment process during other periods.
- The power plant is designed to accept an additional cogeneration group, which will add the capacity required to cover the airport's projected future energy needs.
- 2,000 – Total surface area in square meters
- 25.56 - MW of energy produced
- 3 – Motors
- 9.3 – kW/h power of each Rolls Royce engine
- 770 – cubic decimeters of cylinder volume per motor
- 4 – Water tanks, 26m high and 250 cubic meter capacity each
- 2 – absorption groups, of 4,404 kW and 3,502 kW
- 1,000 – Tons of hot water: overall plant capacity
- 22 million – total investment, in Euro