It’s not the first, or even the last, thing you think about when you come into the airport. In fact, we take it for granted that the lights are on, there’s hot water in the restrooms and it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Behind the walls, in the basement and in ceilings there is a maze of pipes and cables that support all the energy systems at Charleston International Airport. After 28 years it’s time for upgrade. Everyone loves an upgrade, right?
Now under construction just east of Concourse A is a new Central Energy Plant. When completed in July 2014, it will modernize the airport’s energy systems and make them more efficient. Here’s a look at what will be inside the 10,664-square-foot facility:
- Mechanical and electrical equipment to provide fire protection, heating, cooling and electrical service for the terminal building.
- Three chillers to provide air conditioning on those hot, humid days.
- A 1,500 gallon-per-minute fire pump that will push water to emergency sprinklers.
- Four 420-ton cooling towers.
- Three boilers to heat the terminal on cold winter days.
- An 8,000-gallon fuel tank to keep the emergency generator running.
- Two miles electrical conduits, a tubing system that houses all the wiring needed to connect the CEP to the terminal building.