A software and sensor system for airports that claims to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs by 20% is being piloted in Rome and Milan. Cascade, a join project undertaken by Germany, Italy, Ireland and Serbia and funded by the European Commission, aims to save Fiumicino and Malpensa airports at least 6,000MW per hour, which equates to 42,000 tons of CO2 and €840,000 annually.
"Sensors and meters are placed on the infrastructure and communicate information to a central database," explains project co-ordinator Nicolas Réhault, of Germany's Fraunhofer Institute. "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."
Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, says Cascade "shows us that being sustainable doesn't have to cost a fortune, and can actually save us money".
The system is expected to see wider use in Europe from 2015.