Can Jet Engine Thrusts Provide Renewable Energy to Airports?
America’s fastest growing airport, Dallas Love Field (DAL), has announced a partnership with Dallas-based JetWind Power Corporation to lead a pilot energy capture and storage program. The airport is testing a technology that captures and converts wind generated from aircraft jet engine thrusts into clean and sustainable energy.
The concept, which first occurred to JetWind’s creator, Dr. Tarek O. Souryal, 15 to 20 years ago, aims to harness the powerful winds created by jet engines. “We were about to take off and I look out the window and there was stuff flying everywhere.”
According to aviation giant, Boeing, the thrusts from jet engines can reach speeds of 150 mph. Implementing the technology, however, is a challenging execution, balancing the need to keep runways free of obstacles so that the energy pods can optimally capture the thrusts from jet engines.
The revolutionary concept was introduced by JetWind Power Corp. at the Influential Airports Going Green Conference in Dallas in November 2017. Supported by research from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Clarkson University, the patented Energy Capturing Pod (ECP) system harnesses wind that would otherwise be wasted, providing clean energy and potentially lessening stress on energy grids worldwide.
“We are thrilled to be the only airport in the world testing the benefits of this technology, and we hope this partnership will positively impact the aviation industry exponentially,” said Patrick Carreno, Interim Director of Aviation.
The JetWind Power turbines are housed in a 6-foot tall box and strategically placed to capture the jet blast from airplanes pulling out of gates 5, 7 and 9. The ECP allows for precise testing of energy capture capabilities and turbine durability.
The energy produced is stored in batteries, currently used to charge electric vehicles at the airport’s Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control tower. The exact energy production is still under assessment, and further scaling would require additional energy pods around the airport.
Airports offer an advantage due to their predictable wind patterns and onsite electricity needs. The technology has been tested in other airports such as DFW International and San Antonio International, but only for testing and not to generate power for use, Souryal said.
Love Field is the first to undertake a full-scale test. with the aim of potentially lighting up runways using this environmentally friendly energy. The airport’s environmental team is exploring ways to best utilize this captured energy for the benefit of airport operations and passengers. This aligns with the airport’s goals of enhancing efficiency, environmental protection, passenger experience, employee support, and economic growth. “This sustainable technology will transform the transportation and energy industries, not just aviation, and it’s been a pleasure working with Dallas Love Field’s forward-thinking team throughout this process,”, said Souryal.
JetWind Power, introduced in 2017, offers a patented Energy Capturing Pod (ECP) system that captures man-made wind from various sources like jets, trains, and automobiles. These systems can be customized and employed in various transportation hubs to harness clean energy, thus contributing to environmental sustainability and global energy efficiency.
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