EU Testing Software to Cut Airports' Emissions, Energy Costs

The CASCADE system has been pilot tested in the Rome and Milan airports and will save them $1.1 million per year, the European Commission announced July 28.

A new software and sensor system named CASCADE promises to reduce EU airports' carbon emissions and energy costs by 20 percent, the European Commission announced July 28. Commission funding supported its development, and pilot testing is now taking place in major Rome and Milan airports, with the system expected to save at least 6,000 MWh, equal to 42,000 tons of CO2 and saving $1.1 million annually.

Partners in Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Serbia are working on the new system, and the Airports Council International Europe – representing more than 450 airports in Europe – has committed its support, so the system will enter wider use beginning in 2015.

"Sensors and meters are placed on the infrastructure and communicate information to a central database," said Nicolas Réhault, coordinator of the CASCADE project at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. "Innovative software can detect faults, for example fans operating when they are not required, simultaneous heating and cooling, control errors, and so on. It can then suggest corrective actions to the energy management and maintenance teams, like resetting controls or replacing faulty detectors."

The CASCADE project received funding from the EU seventh framework program for research and technological development (2007-2013).