Airports, one of the important transportation components in this modern age, are under continuous improvement especially in regard to energy sustainability. While most work is concentrated on large airports, smaller airports which are mostly scattered around rural areas seem to be better opportunities for renewable energy utilization. However, while renewable energy has come into use at airports over the past decade, it has been at a slow pace and has not included storage. A reliable storage system can significantly increase the power reliability of a small airport and make a renewable energy system viable.
Acquiring the technical requirements of a facility based on its characteristics enables the designer to evaluate the power source options and develop an efficient storage system. The current paper analytically develops a framework to design and integrate an energy storage method for a renewable system into a small airport facility. The framework details include methods for energy storage which are environmentally acceptable in combination with renewable energy sources to produce electrical power for the on-site facilities. The technical analysis which leads to the sizing of the storage unit initiates with categorizing different methods for energy storage and their applicability to an airport facility for off-grid and on-grid modes.
Based on the results and conclusions from the first step, the search is narrowed down to mediums for electricity storage for a wind farm or solar power plant. In such a case, the main applications of the storage unit could be either to supply power to the facility during the transition time from the renewable source to the main grid or to regulate the power frequency of the generation unit. Capacitors and batteries were selected as the two options for the given power requirement of the facility. Considering the wide variety of available technologies and lower costs, the appropriate storage system is proposed for both long term and short term applications. A table is presented to compare available battery technologies and their respective storage capacities.