The Pre-conditioned Air (PC Air) project at Sea-Tac will allow flight crews to turn off aircraft auxiliary engines and plug in to the airport infrastructure to access both heated and cooled air. This program shifts the source of energy used to generate air conditioning and heating from jet fuel to the airport’s low carbon electricity sources. It will lower costs to the airlines while producing significant environmental benefits by reducing tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year.
The centralized PC Air system, in conjunction with gate electrification (an existing service at Sea-Tac), will reduce, if not eliminate, the reliance of on-aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs) and ground power units (GPUs) at each of Sea-Tac’s 73 jet aircraft gates. Following the appropriate connections, and ensuring safe operation of the aircraft, auxiliary power units will be turned off and ground power units would not be needed, thus reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.
- Decrease the amount of energy used to heat and cool the aircraft and shift the energy
demand from fossil fuels to low carbon electrical sources
- Significantly reduce the amount of CO2 and other air emissions produced
- Provide aircraft with cabin heating and cooling while eliminating the need for using the
onboard APU, which consumes jet fuel
- Minimize life-cycle costs
- Minimize fuel consumption
- Minimize ramp area noise
Potential jet fuel savings: 5 million gallons per year
Potential CO2 emission reductions: 50,000 tons per year
Overall project cost: $33 million
FAA VALE grant funding for 2011: $18.3 million
Completion of Phase I of the project is projected for December 2011.
The first phase of the PC Air project will include construction of the Central Plant, portions of the Chilled and Heated Water Distribution System, purchase of the gate delivery equipment and installation of the gate delivery equipment at approximately 50 of the 73 gates.
Completion of the project is scheduled by the spring of 2013.