Heathrow Airport looks into geothermic technology
April 18th, 2011 by elisa

Heathrow Airport spent a huge amount of money last winter to put measures in place to avoid the travel chaos of the previous winter; however, as we know, this still didn’t happen. The airport is now under pressure from the Government to avoid the disruption to travellers which brought Heathrow to a standstill for five days.

Heathrow Airport is now exploring geothermal technology to prevent its runways and aircraft stands from freezing during the winter. The technology stores heat gathered from the ground surface during the summer and releases it in the winter, which would stop the runways from freezing.

Airport owner BAA told Building magazine it was one of the options being considered. Capital projects director Steven Morgan said: “It’s not the snow that caused the problem last year, it was the ice. We are working on a concept to capture geothermal energy from the surface of the tarmac … during the summer, to then provide a heating capability so the stands don’t freeze in the winter.

“We would store the energy underground and use it to gently heat water that would then be run through pipes in freezing conditions to warm the stands, which are the slabs of concrete directly beneath the planes, to just above zero.”


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