Grey to Green Infrastructure- “An Insignia of a dream, Cochin International Airport”Pooja [email protected]
comBibliographical NotesThe author is currently a first year MSc student pursuing Infrastructure Planning at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. She received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. With her past work record as a designer and format planner in planning and designing a variety of retail building models for top retailers in the UK/Europe and USA set her on firm grounds enabling her to deliver projects in the feasibility architecture, schematic design development, procurement and billing of materials and on-site FUSE management phases. Further upon being a part of challenging projects in infrastructure planning, her key area of focus is now to avail best of knowledge in efficient and sustainable infrastructure planning. AbstractThe changing climate is an important global concern to consider currently. There is an evident need to bank on sustainable, environment friendly and cost-effective solutions to build our cities and other infrastructure such as transportation.
This paper discusses the benefits of choosing a “green infrastructure” over a “grey infrastructure”. Furthermore, the paper also emphasizes the need of a green infrastructure through discussing a real-life example of CIAL (Cochin International Airport), which successfully implemented a cost effective, sustainable and green infrastructure to generate about 50,000 kilowatts of power per day, consequently meeting its own day to day power requirement quite easily.Keywords: Grey Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure, Solar energy, Electricity production.Introduction A conceptual ideaCities these days are not stable. They are constantly in a state of flux. (AChristopher M.
Chini, 2017) Within the last decade, the global citizenship drifted from a rural population to many of the citizens on earth living in urban environment. Accompanied with this drift in population is a never-ending struggle for the cities to meet the sustainability expectations of the habitants. Cities are often the focus of sustainability. However, sustainability in the urban area is not just a process but also a goal to achieve. A fine network of healthy ecosystem can provide alternatives to grey infrastructure (infrastructure which does not draw inspiration from nature), which is cost effective and can nurture many other benefits for its citizens and biodiversity.
What is green infrastructure?The idea of “green infrastructure” is experiencing a fast emergence in planning policy with very little platform and chance to fulfil its real meaning attached to the concept by various interests. However, conceptually on a broader scale, green infrastructure refers to a successfully tested tool which provides economic, environmental and social benefits through solutions which are natural and thereby reduce the dependence on a built-in infrastructure (often referred to as grey infrastructure) which is not just expensive but also difficult to maintain. Grey Infrastructure, therefore needs to be designed and managed as a multi-functional resource which is capable to deliver ecological services and the benefits which are required by the community which it serves and thrust to completely underpin sustainability.Green Infrastructure refers to a strategically planned and managed network of green spaces and other environmental features vital to the sustainability of any urban area (England, 2009). Its design and management should also respect and enhance the character and distinctiveness of an area, mainly its habitat and landscape type.The Case study- Cochin International AirportIntroductionFigure 1: Front view of Cochin International airport Source:(Chronicle, 2018)Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is the largest international airport in Kerala, a state in the southern part of India. It is also the fourth busiest airport in terms of international passenger volume and the seventh busiest in terms of total passenger volume. It is also considered as the most profit-making airport in the country.
CIAL was commissioned in the year 1999 and started making profits only from and after the year 2003. After years of struggle and constant uncertainties from the initial stages, the airport has now transformed itself into a unique character globally. With its strength, success and occasional setbacks, CIAL serves as an example for the rest. CIAL also reported a clear profit of 144.
58 Cr after tax with a gross income of 414 Cr, an increase of 14.4% in the financial year 2014-2015.Geographical location and climate of CochinKochi- named as Cochin in the Colonial times, is a city situated in the south west coast of India. It belongs to the prosperous state of Kerala, often named as God’s Own country. Cochin is informally referred to as the gateway of Kerala (Figure 2). Cochin experiences a moderately hot temperature and is humid all-round the year. During monsoons, it experiences heavy thunder and lightning in the month of June-September and light traces of rainfall in October-December.
December-February is mostly cooler compared to the rest of the year (Figure 3). Figure 2:Geographical location of Cochin, Kerala tour and coastal news todaySource: (kmhouse, 2017) and (24timezone, 2018)Figure 3:Maximum, minimum and average days (24 hour) temperature and precipitation during a monthPROJECT CHALLENGESCIAL started its diversification plan early by the year 1999. The first infant in the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode for airport infrastructure in the country did not attain decent financial support from its parents.
Furthermore, neither the public nor the private sector showed interest in helping CIAL survive the early phase. This is when the smart brains behind CIAL started exploring options beyond the aviation business to survive and grow. The genesis, origin and growth of CIAL in a most demanding and unconcerned environment stressed on the need to sustain its operational ideology on its own. An early analysis revealed that despite insourcing majority of CIAL’s operations, CIAL was bound to pay its power bill to the KSEB (state run electricity board), for all the power dependent operations and activities within the Airport at a rate of 8.30 INR per unit. However, the facilities at the Airport required on an average about 48000 units of power a day which indicated a clear cost of roughly 400,000 INR per day from its financial reserve. This was highly undesirable for CIAL and there was a clear need to bring the number down. This led CIAL to undertake measures to save energy by having regular audits to study and plan the insourcing of power requirements better.
As CIAL was committed to the idea of environment friendly sustainable development, it was evident to the planning team that generating its own electricity at a cheaper rate through a renewable solution was an everlasting solution. (George)PROJECT DESCRIPTIONProject Goal”To become a `3000 Cr turnover company by 2023 with 20% aero revenue; 30% non-aero revenue and 50% non-aviation revenue”. Money saved is money earned.Principle of Solar theory Figure 4: Operation on single junction solar cell and General aspect of solar theory Figure 4: Operation on single junstion solar cell, explainthestuff and and General aspect of solar theory CIAL_SCMSA single solar module consists of thin layer of silicon cells (n and the p type) with a layer of protective tempered glass. This generates electricity using the sunlight making electrons move across the silicon junction. When sunlight shines on the cell, the photons collide with the upper surface.
The photons carry their energy down the cell and loose energy to the electrons in the lower layer. The electrons now use the energy to surpass the barrier to the upper layer and further escape into the circuit. An inverter is the heart of the entire PV system and hence should be carefully placed in match with solar system module. DC electricity is generated from the PV module and is further converted to AC electricity using a power conditioning unit which is fed across the grid. Flowing around the circuit as explained, the electrons make the lamps light up.PROJECT DEVELOPMENTPhase 1 A solar power plant of 100 KW PV was set up on a roof top of the arrival block as the pilot project in Phase 1, March 2013. This consisted of 400 panels with a capacity of 250 Wp. Each panel was about 1.
6 sq. meters in area and the orientation was set at a tilt angle of 10 degrees facing the south. The entire installation was designed and executed in collaboration with Kolkata based organization Vikram Solar power plant. The electricity generated by the solar panels was not directly fed to the utility grid. Instead the invertors were used to convert the DC electricity to AC compliant voltage grid. This facility led to the generation of about 400 units of power a day.
Successfully testing the setup in Phase 1 gave a sense of proclamation to the technical hands in CIAL and with the renewed hope of realizing the dream of a self-sustained and self-powered organization, CIAL started planning the Phase 2 of the project.Phase 21MWp plant was the capacity CIAL aimed to achieve and consequently installed 4000 monocrystalline modules each of 250 Wp. The whole infrastructure was built in an average record time of 7 months in the premises of Aircraft Maintenance, around the hangars and other surrounding areas. In November 2013, Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt Ltd finished the project with a total investment of 74 million.Phase 3 Having done the homework well, CIAL team knew that technology related aspects were within its reach and higher capacity plants would bring in benefits of scale that would alter the cost of power generation drastically. The next step was only logical; to go for full generation of power required for the entire operation of CIAL, totaling up to around 48,000 kilowatt hours per day, from a PV based solar system in its own backyard. Land required for installation, of about 45 acres was available near the North-West boundary in the area marked for the future expansion of the cargo terminal. The capacity of the system was to be about 12 MWp with a capacity to generate 50,000 kilowatt hours.
The generation during normal sunshine hours between 9.00 am to 4.00 pm would be available to CIAL for its own use and the surplus amount generated was to be exported through 110 kV substation to the KSEB grid. PERFORMANCE ANALYSISFigure 8: Monthly variations of solar irradiance, temperature and wind speedFigure 8 provides a detailed insight into the relationship between Solar in-plane irradiance, Wind speed and Ambient temperature from September 2015 to August 2016. In line with Cochin’s weather pattern recorded earlier, we can observe that solar irradiance decreases during October’15 to December’15 as Cochin experiences light rainfall during the same period. The ambient temperature and the solar irradiance also decreases from June till September as Cochin experiences heavy thunder and lightning during that period.Figure 9: Monthly variations of performance ratio and energy efficiencyFigure 9 shows a relationship between the performance ratio and energy efficiency.
The data indicates a proportional relationship. Performance and energy efficiency both reduces at the same rate starting the onset of monsoon from the month of June. In the month of June, just before the onset of monsoon, performance ratio of 100% was achieved since the weather is quite hot and humid just before the monsoon.Figure 10: Monthly variations of average capacity utilizationFigure 10 helps in getting a detailed understanding of the CUF (Capacity Utilization Factor), which helps in comparing the real output of the plant with the theoretical maximum output of the plant. CUF goes down a bit when compared with the average CUF from September to November, because of light rainfall during that period. CUF indicates another downfall during the monsoon season (June-September).QUANTITATIVE RESULTSMonthDaily energy generation (kWh)Monthly energy generation (kWh)Annual energy generation (MWh)September-201650139.
19August-201645976.07Average48137.73Table 1: Energy generated from 12MWp PV plant on a daily, montgly and annual basis, Journal of air transport management.The above provides the data for energy generated from 12 MWp PV plant on a daily, monthly and annual basis.
The data clearly shows that CIAL was able to meet its initial goal of generating 50,000 kWh per day. The occasional decrease and increase of the daily energy generated is very well in sync with the known weather pattern of the area.COST ANALYSISBased on the figures presented in table 3, Figure 11 provides an approximate pie-chart breakdown to indicate the varied nature of cost involved in building solar PV power plant installation. PV modules are the core component of any solar based installation and consequently it takes up the maximum share. The cost of Civil works, Mounting structure and Power conditioning units are roughly of the same volume.Figure 11: Breakdown cost of land based solar PV power plant installationSl. No:ParticularsCapital Cost (INR)Percentage of total cost (%)1PV modules45.
0565.02%2Civil and general works4.796.9%3Mounting structures4.796.
9%4Power conditioning units4.796.9%5Evacuation cost upto interconnection point (cables and transformers)6.
038.7%6Preliminary and pre operative expenses3.785.
45%Table 2: Economic analysis of Solar PV power plantCONCLUSIONThis paper describes the effectiveness of a fully solar powered airport using the example of one of India’s most sustainable airports. The 12 MWp grid connected PV system located at the Cochin Airport was monitored annually between Sept 2015 to Aug 2016 and its performance was evaluated on monthly and daily basis. As the solar power is intermittent, the airport relies on the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for a smooth operation through the day and night in case there is a shortage of power anytime.
The prominent conclusions drawn are:The 12 MWp solar power plant which is located inside the premises of the airport can generate around 50,000 units a day.At times of overcast days, the energy is supplied from the local state electricity thereby increasing the reliability of solar power.This step serves as a motivation for other airports which run partially on solar energy to aim for generating the total electricity needed, by utilizing the vast and open land left as buffer zones.
This paper also emphasizes on awareness and commitment towards the climate change and carbon emissions by airports.Though the initial investment is high, the long-term benefits and net profit of the project is beyond any imagination.REFERENCE