b'OPERATIONS SDF43The new system will go online in phases as constructionOngoing remodeling plans also boosted progresses during the airports $400 million terminal remodel,support for a geothermal system because branded as SDF Next. Everything is driven by the terminal work,they conflicted with an existing cooling tower, Mann notes. The scheduling is very complex. adds Dave Mayer, a partner at design and engineering consultant CMTA. More Parking Space We couldnt find a good place to relocate Beyond energy savings, the geothermal system will provide room forthe tower, and thats when we pitched the idea additional aircraft parking and possibly a deicing pad because mostof a geothermal system, which eliminated theDAVE MAYERof the well field will be paved with concrete.need for any external equipment and freed We knew that piece of property would beup some land for the airport, he explains. Everyone at SDF is a good place for drilling the wells because itvery keen on being best-in-class, and this is a difference-maker in could be paved, plus we dont plan to buildterms of being the best.any structures in that area, explains Brian Sinnwell, senior vice president and chiefLeveraging Natural Heatoperating officer for the Louisville RegionalGeothermal systems essentially consist of three main components: Airport Authority. an open- or closed-ground loop of water-filled pipes (at SDF, its a BRIAN SINNWELL closed loop), heat pumps and a distribution system. Water in the Extra space for parking aircraft will come in especially handy during Kentucky Derby week each May, whenground-loop pipes absorbs heat from deep underground, where flights into SDF jump dramatically. In addition, UPS planes couldtemperatures consistently remain 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and use the paved surfaces during the peak holiday shipping perioduses it for both heating and cooling.from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. (SDF is the primaryHeres how it work for heating: Water inside the ground-loop domestic hub for UPS Airlines and home to the delivery giants 5.2pipes flows into heat pumps (at SDF, they are water-source heat million-square-foot Worldport package-processing facility.) pumps), which use a compressor, a heat exchanger and a blowerYoure usually constrained with how you can use airfield spaceto convert the heat into warm air that is distributed throughout a and theres usually not a lot of it, Mann notes. So this is win- building via ducts, just like a traditional forced-air heating system. win-win situation on many frontsfinancially, environmentally andMeanwhile, the water continuously recirculates back through the operationally.ground-loop pipes.In local parlance, thats like winning the Triple Crown.For cooling, the process is reversed. Heat exchangers in the heat pumps extract heat from air circulating throughout a building Innovative Solution and transfer it to the water circulating inside the ground-loop The terminal remodeling project opened the door for airportpipes. As that water travels back down into the ground-loop pipes, authority officials to consider an alternative to SDFs current heatingit dispels the heat into the surrounding earth.and cooling system, which relies on boilers and cooling towers.Its basically the same concept as a home heating or cooling The terminal and its infrastructure is aging, including escalators,system, just on a larger scale, Sinnwell says. Instead of relying on jet bridges and mechanical systems, Mann explains. Theyre alla coil in a heat exchanger with a refrigerant in it, the coil has water getting old and reaching the end of their useful life. in it.So we decided that if we have to replace the HVAC system,Similarities notwithstanding, the geothermal system being we should do something that would reduce our carbon footprint,installed at SDF is decidedly more complicated. This system is so decrease energy costs and last longer than conventional systems.much more than just holes in the ground with piping going back Geothermal systems usually last two to three times longer thanand forth, Mayer says.conventional HVAC systems.Sinnwell notes that much of the strategizing occurred when the pandemic slowed down SDFs master plan study, terminal remodeling and sustainability management study. We took that time to reassessand ask questions about what is possible, and came up with some impactful and innovative ways to go about it, he says. The more we looked at the numbers, the more sensePlanninggeothermal made. So we took the leap. DELTA AIRPORT EngineeringCONSULTANTS, INC. EnvironmentalI hate to say it, but COVID actually served a usefulIndustry Analysiswww.deltaairport.com Program Managementpurpose here.Construction AdministrationBusiness & Financial PlanningAirportImprovement.comNovember | December 2022'