Bristol Airport - Network planning and capacity modelling
In 2019, Bristol Airport handled over 8.9 million passengers. The airport’s ambition is to be the sustainable international gateway to South West England and South Wales, with an aim to be carbon-neutral by 2025 and net zero by 2050.
To achieve net zero by 2050, Bristol Airport is planning a host of sustainable solutions including:
- increase the number of electric vehicle charging points for passengers and for operational use
- introduce electric ground fleet vehicles including electric buses
- generate 25% of the airport’s energy from renewable sources
- deploy fixed electrical ground power for aircraft
To integrate these changes into the distribution network, the airport needed to fully understand the extent of their impact and develop an informed energy strategy. We were tasked with providing Bristol Airport with a preliminary understanding of the present-day and future-state of their electricity network.
Approach and innovation
By using DIgSILENT PowerFactory, we created a network planning and analysis system model for the high voltage (HV) electrical network of the airport and were able to provide Bristol Airport with:
- Current picture of the HV network
- Future picture of the HV network
- A plug and play tool that can easily assess the impact of any future projects
Through a two-phase programme, we captured all necessary data on the airport's network and used this to build a model of the network as it is today. Through assessment of this model, we were able to develop a current and future-state of the network, including all key electrical parameters and any present weaknesses or issues that may appear as the airport grows.
One of the future load growth scenarios we investigated analysed the impact of additional demand on to the network coupled with the connection of solar generation and a wind generation system.
By producing a number of heat maps under different steady state and outage scenarios we provided Bristol Airport with a visualisation that clearly demonstrated which parts of their network require an upgrade.
We also investigated ten future load growth scenarios for their network to identify areas requiring upgrades. This will enable they airport to understand the cost impact and prioritise viable scenarios.
Delivery and collaboration
We worked closely with Bristol Airport throughout the duration of the project. Even during the second peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we carried out a site survey while following strict COVID-19 safety protocols to identify any missing information on their network, in order to meet the airport’s deadlines.