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‘Our chillers operate at airports with maximum reliability’

11 October 2021

Airports are the hubs of our globalised world. Refrigeration technology plays a key role in ensuring that processes run smoothly and visitors feel comfortable in the terminal buildings. In this interview our expert Bernd Heine, Head of Sales Support, explains what the aviation industry requires from chillers – and the sophisticated solutions that ENGIE Refrigeration provides for this business sector. In addition, he presents the best practices we have developed in our many years of experience.

Mr Heine, what do companies that operate airports specifically require from their chillers?

One aspect is especially important to airports: chillers must feature a large or even very large refrigeration capacity. This is hardly surprising, as airport grounds are often huge, and refrigeration must function flawlessly in many places as an important component of complex building facilities – whether it is used to cool building control systems or hangars. This requirement is often met by deploying large machine parks with a refrigeration capacity in the higher megawatt range. In addition, airports focus on absolute operational reliability. Many operating companies also place great importance on a chiller’s part-load capability, as an airport is in operation all year round and the amount of cooling required can vary greatly from summer to winter. And, last but not least, the topic of energy efficiency plays an important role. Lowering energy consumption and thus operating costs is a constant target – for airports as well as for many other industrial applications.

How do the chillers from ENGIE Refrigeration meet these requirements?

In short: perfectly. Our chillers have always met the most stringent industry standards and stand for absolute operational reliability. Airports mainly deploy our water-cooled QUANTUM series; for smaller projects, we have also installed our air-cooled QUANTUM Air models and PENSUM Air chillers. Our redesigned QUANTUM Water in particular, which we launched in June of 2021, fulfils the needs of airports perfectly thanks to its special machine concept. Users benefit from exceptionally high levels of reliability, which are provided by a redundant compressor design and, to some extent, by the sensors and valves. The machine also achieves especially high levels of efficiency under part load.

What are your USPs that distinguish you from the competition?

Our QUANTUM Power series is unique in the refrigeration market. It offers an extremely high refrigeration capacity of up to 7.5 megawatts. It features all the specific product characteristics of QUANTUM chillers, such as the partially redundant design. That is why the QUANTUM Power is perfect for use at airports.

What trends have you spotted in refrigeration technology for airports?

Fundamentally, sustainability and climate neutrality play an increasingly important role. This is as true for airports as it is for other industries. In line with our mission of ‘zero carbon transition as a service’, we at ENGIE Refrigeration offer perfect refrigeration and heating solutions designed to increase energy efficiency and thereby protect the environment. We have noticed, for example, that demand for low-GWP refrigerants such as R-513A and R-1234ze has been increasing for a while. This trend will continue to grow, especially in Europe. Equally, chillers with heat recovery, which utilise the waste heat generated by the refrigeration process, are an interesting solution for airports. After all, every airport requires heat as well, for purposes such as heating and hot water. QUANTUM chillers with green heat recovery from ENGIE Refrigeration represent a solution that is different from anything in our competitors’ portfolios. Users can significantly lower both their carbon emissions and their operating costs – a key added value, especially in the current challenging economic situation.

QUANTUM with green heat recovery

Please describe a specific example

Our chillers have been deployed at airports for many years and have proved their worth there – in Germany, in Europe and around the world. In total, around 90 of our machines are installed, with a refrigeration capacity of around 110 megawatts. One example is Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. Since 2014, several QUANTUM and PENSUM chillers have been operating in Terminal 1, with additional machines installed in Terminal 2 in 2017 – all to the customer’s fullest satisfaction. In addition, our well-established service network provides assistance on site. Our long-term Russian service partner takes care of the chillers on site and can react quickly and expertly in case of a rare malfunction, or when a spare part is needed. We offer these comprehensive services both in Germany and abroad. This is an important advantage for airports in particular. Operating companies can rely on the fact that the ENGIE Refrigeration team always provides products and services of the highest quality – and thus ensures maximum operational reliability.

Dear Mr Heine, thank you for talking to us.

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