Green Technology Takes Off
Green Technology Takes Off

Green technologies are taking off worldwide. But putting them into successful operation requires vision, commitment, power expertise, and seamless cooperation between partners, as the transformation of Hong Kong International Airport demonstrates.


In normal times, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of the world’s busiest airports, handling more than a flight a minute at peak times and moving over five million tonnes of cargo a year.


Its success relies on a failsafe, uninterrupted, round-the-clock power supply – and, as the world moves towards a zero-carbon future, sustainable energy management and energy saving have become top priorities.


To help HKIA better manage its energy consumption, CLP Power worked together with Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) to use innovation to put green technologies to their most effective use.


“We weren’t content with going down the conventional route of just suggesting equipment upgrades to improve our customer’s energy performance,” explains CLP Power's Deputy Director of Corporate Customer Experience K.Y. Lo.


Collaborating with AA, CLPSolutions Limited (CLPeS), and their business partners, CLP Power came up with two ingenious energy solutions for HKIA: The city’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS), and a smart predictive air conditioning control system. 

Banking on sustainability

To support the ongoing development of HKIA, an additional backup power supply is needed for its facilities.


CLP Power and AA therefore teamed up to design the largest BESS in Hong Kong with a maximum output of 4MW of electricity, equivalent to more than 55,000 pieces of 10,000mAh portable power banks.    


The BESS can store electricity produced by the existing six backup power generators during routine test running.

The BESS at HKIA went into operation in June.
Facts about Hong Kong’s largest BESS

Constructed and installed by CLPeS, the system comprising over 400 lithium batteries is housed in three wheeled cargo containers, allowing it to serve as flexible power bank to address imminent needs at any location. 


Each container is 40 feet long, weighs 70 tonnes, and is equipped with fully automated battery management, power conversion, air conditioning, fire and lighting computer control and monitoring systems.



CLPeS technician performs site acceptance test
CLPeS technician performs site acceptance test on a power transformer.

CLPeS’ Infrastructure Projects Manager Peter Lam, who coordinated the project’s construction and implementation, describes the BESS as being among only a handful of battery systems to include a transformer.


“The transformer helps step up the low-voltage output of the BESS to feed into the airport’s high voltage power system,” he says. “Together with the existing six backup power generators, it can provide essential electricity for the airport in case of an emergency.”



Beyond energy storage

Large-scale battery system is not just crucial to keep businesses running during a power outage, it also facilitates the world’s transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. CLPeS applies the technology to help businesses and institutions tap a limitless supply of renewable resources from nature. Click here to learn how CLPeS installed and commissioned an energy storage project in Hong Kong’s Zero Carbon Park to help it achieve net zero carbon emissions.


Staying cool under pressure

HKIA is now the world’s first airport to have a predictive control air conditioning system that uses big data analytics to forecast and deliver the optimal amount of cool air for its passenger terminal.


As well as drawing on meteorological data such as temperature, humidity, solar radiation, cloud amount, and wind speed, the system collects hourly flight schedule data to estimate crowd flows and predict the cooling demand in Terminal 1 for the subsequent 24 hours.


It then automatically adjusts the central air conditioning system in real time to provide the right amount of cooling, eliminating unnecessary energy consumption. 

Facts about the predictive air conditioning control system
*Together with the upgraded chiller system
The predictive air conditioning control system
The predictive air conditioning control system uses big data analytics tools to provide precisely the right amount of cooling.

CLP Power’s Corporate Customer Experience Manager Simon Tsui says: “Trending technologies and the application of data sciences open up new possible applications that no airport has tried before. We are very excited to test these novel ideas.” 


Tsui recalls how the team spent months with the AA's team testing and pushing the accuracy rate of forecasting cooling demand to raise it from around 80% to the current level of about 90%. “CLP Power and the AA share the same goal to excel,” he says.


Amen Tong, General Manager, Technical Infrastructure of AA, says: “HKIA is the first airport in the world to adopt a predictive control system for its air conditioning. The system can pre-adjust and ensure the most comfortable cooling volume and temperature to achieve energy saving, while maintaining the comfort of passengers in the terminal and enhancing their airport experience.”  

The sky is the limit

CLP Power, AA, CLPeS and their business partners worked together for almost two years to conceptualise, design, and install the two innovative systems that have transformed the energy performance of HKIA.


Their accomplishment was made possible by combining insights from professionals in different disciplines, and by working together in a spirit of trust and open-mindedness to explore exciting new possibilities.


The partnership does not stop here. It will continue to optimise the system and raise energy efficiency to new levels with the help of machine learning.


CLP Power is also exploring the use of the predictive air conditioning control models and the application of BESS through green partnership in other sectors such as large shopping malls using central cooling systems, and buildings and sites where backup power is needed to supplement generators.


The successful partnership at HKIA has taken green technology to new heights in Hong Kong and demonstrated how the sky is the limit when innovation, expertise, and a powerful commitment to sustainability join forces.