Carbon Neutral GMR Hyderabad International Airport Marching Towards 100% LED
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad, has revealed that it has become South India’s first and India’s second airport to convert the entire Taxiway Edge Lights from halogen lamps to energy efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). Complementing the recently achieved recognition of being Carbon Neutral Airport (Level 3 + Neutrality), GHIAL is on its green journey of transforming RGIA into a 100% LED Airport, out which 75% of the work has been already completed.
RGIA, which currently caters to more than 15 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) (FY16-17) with close to 400 daily air traffic movements, requires consistent supply of electricity to operate round the clock. With its mission to move from conventional energy to renewable energy sources for environmental sustenance, the airport had recently commissioned a captive 5MW Solar Power Plant for its captive use. While a significant proportion of the airport’s total daytime energy requirement is met by the solar power plant, RGIA has now gone a step ahead by deciding to convert the entire lighting at the airport to LEDs. Even the airside, which is the busiest and the most critical area of the airport, has also undergone LED transformation, where close to 500 halogen lamps of Taxiway Edge Lights were converted to LEDs. Length wise the conversion of all LEDs at Taxiway Edge lights covered around 26 km of the area in the airside.
Taxiway Edge lights play a critical role in airside operations. They are used to outline the edges of taxiways during periods of darkness or restricted visibility conditions. Around 500 airport taxiway edge lights were converted to LED in a span of mere six days, owing to the meticulous planning and coordination between the teams of Airport Technical Services and Airside Operations. All 36 W halogen lamps have been converted to 01W LED lamps. The lumen level of these LED lights installed at Taxiway Edges meet the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) and DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) requirement. Extensive tests and trials were carried out after the installation of the LED lights and regular observations were collected from the pilots. The replacement of lights was done in a phased manner considering criticality, cost and availability of suitable replacements.
Lighting is a major contributor to energy consumption and energy costs. It has been found that the conventional lighting lamps like MV (Mercury Vapour), SV (Sodium Vapour) lamps and FL (Fluorescent Lamp) have chemicals such as lead, phosphorus and mercury which are hazardous to environment and LEDs are environment friendly. LED or Light Emitting Diodes are extremely energy-efficient and helps in reducing greenhouse gas emission. The lights emitted by LEDs are directional, as opposed to incandescent bulbs which spread the light more spherically.
LED lights offer better control on lighting and reduction in maintenance cost as they do not have a filament. Unlike the tungsten filament in the traditional lights, LEDs are less prone to damages under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping. LED lights last up to 10 times longer than the usual halogen light. An LED light lasts more than 50,000 hours while a traditional light lasts around 800 hours. This in turn reduces the need to enter the critical zones in the airport to carry out any maintenance or replacement of exhausted lights. These LED bulbs do not cause heat build-up; LEDs produce 3.4 BTU/hour, compared to 85 for traditional bulb.
For an airport like RGIA, which has more than 26,000 conventional lamps, it has been a gargantuan task to convert them into LED. As of now more than 19,500 traditional lamps have been converted into LED. This effort has a huge impact on overall electricity consumption, since migration to LEDs has amounted to a saving of 2.2 Million Units of electricity per annum.