The largest airport in the United Kingdom saved more than 130 million liters of water annually using GE’s (NYSE: GE) advanced water treatment solutions. Thirty-nine cooling towers across four terminals at London’s Heathrow Airport were treated with GE’s corrosion inhibitor, cooling and chemical treatment technologies. After 12 months, the airport saved the equivalent of 5 percent of total site water usage and $310,000 in costs.
In recognition of its noteworthy reductions in water usage, GE honored Heathrow Airport with an Ecomaginaton award, which recognizes the achievements of industrial users for striking a positive balance between today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges. It is given to the top GE customers in environmental and economic performance.
“With more than 75 million passengers per year, 80 airlines, over 76,000 employees and an average of approximately 1,300 flights per day, Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe, and we consume a significant volume of water,” said Chris Allen, Heathrow Airport Limited. “It is crucial we work with partners to reduce our environmental impact and are pleased that the GE technology has allowed us to exceed our environmental and industrial goals while meeting our high operational demands. We have been able to reduce our water usage and costs and improve efficiency. We are honored that GE has recognized Heathrow Airport with this award.”
The airport’s cooling towers were monitored in real time, and the data was analyzed with GE’s InSight* knowledge management system and TrueSense* for Cooling remote monitoring and diagnostics platforms. Using the power of the Industrial Internet, GE’s InSight and TrueSense technologies enabled the precise dosing of chemicals in the right quantity and allowed for continuous monitoring to ensure system performance, cost optimization and improved efficiency.
Previously, the 39 cooling towers were treated with ozone, which restricted the cooling towers to only two cycles. After using GE’s water treatment chemicals, GenGard* corrosion technology, Spectrus* microbiological control, TrueSense and InSight, Heathrow Airport was able to reduce make-up water demand by increasing cooling tower cycles from two to five, which led to a substantial increase in water efficiency and clean water.
“Airports use a large amount of water and energy. By reducing corrosion and increasing the efficiency of the cooling towers across four terminals, Heathrow Airport saved over 130 million liters of water a year,” said Amy Ericson, global leader, chemical and monitoring solutions—water and process technologies for GE Power. “Heathrow Airport truly deserved the Ecomagination award not only for improving its operations from an environmental perspective, but also for putting the safety and well-being of its passengers, crew and employees at the forefront of its operations.”