New Beijing airport calls on Xylem to deliver “green city”

The Beijing Daxing International Airport opened in September, the largest single-structure airport terminal in the world, with an architectural design that looks like a phoenix with its wings spread. With a total investment of $11 billion (S$15 billion), the technologically advanced airport follows an environmentally friendly “Green City” philosophy. Xylem provided drainage systems for the runways and a ground-source heat pump system for the terminal building. Energy-efficient pumping solutions were a critical requirement for the project.

The new Beijing Daxing International Airport, located between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, is on relatively low-lying land. This means the drainage equipment for the runways needed to be highly efficient and reliable. The pumps also had to be energy efficient to meet the environmental impact goals of the entire airport project. Xylem was selected to provide eight rain-water pump stations on the runways, including 34 sets of Flygt pumps.

“Xylem organised an expert team for the project, which had extensive experience in providing solutions for international airports,” says Chen Wenbin, Northern Sales Manager for Xylem China’s Commercial Building Team. “The team developed a solution to meet the special efficiency and resiliency requirements of Beijing Daxing International Airport.”

Given that the airport is expected to serve 45 million annual passengers by 2021, any delays due to heavy rains not being discharged in a timely manner will cause serious economic losses and major inconveniences for travellers. To prevent this, the airport has a secondary drainage system including a rainwater pipeline, water tank, pump station and an open drainage channel. The water pumps are critical to the effective operations of the drainage systems.

Xylem’s ground-source heat pump solution
Xylem also helped develop the ground-source heat pump system for the airport. This system supplies heating and cooling for the offices and public area of the airport, and also needed to have a low environmental impact. Heat exchange pipes were buried in 11,000 wells, and two energy stations were built, including eight ground-source heat pump sets.

By relying on the constant underground temperature, the ground-source heat pump system lowers energy consumption for the entire airport. Xylem’s highly efficient AC water pumps are an important part of the system. The pumps help extract ground heat in the winter and provide cooling in the summer. Xylem provided 50 sets of Bell & Gossett VSX double-suction pumps for the system. The ground-source heat pumps generate 10% of the renewable energy used in the entire airport.

“The ground-source heat pump system helps the airport reduce energy and emissions by supplying renewable energy,” says Shi Lin, Technical Manager for Commercial and Residential Buildings and Water Application Systems for Xylem China.

He added: “We worked together to provide a clean energy source for the airport that will last long into its future.”