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The aquifer

Illustration som visar akvifären på Arlanda
Arlanda's aquifer, which supplies heating and cooling to the airport (click on image to enlarge)

Cheaper, more environmentally sound energy production

Stockholm Arlanda uses as much energy as a small city of 25,000 inhabitants. Areas equivalent to a hundred football pitches need to be cooled in the summer and kept warm in the winter. Since the summer of 2009, the aquifer, located in the nearby boulder ridge known as Brunkebergsåsen, has helped to make energy production at Stockholm Arlanda both cheaper and more environmentally sound.

All cooling for the terminals comes from the aquifer

Stockholm Arlanda’s aquifer has been in service since the summer of 2009, and today all of the airport’s cooling – including for the terminals – comes from the aquifer.

During the summer, the aquifer supplies cooling to Stockholm Arlanda’s buildings while storing heat at the same time. In the winter, the heat stored is used in the ground heating system for the airport’s aircraft parking stands and to preheat the ventilation air in buildings.

How the aquifer works

An aquifer is like a large storage unit for groundwater in the ridge, functioning in roughly the same way as a thermos. The water pumped from the aquifer supplies cooling to the airport in the summer and heating in the winter.

Cold water is pumped out of the aquifer in the summer in order to then be used in the airport’s district heating network. The heated return water is then pumped back into the ground and stored until winter, when it is used to melt snow on the aircraft parking stands and preheat ventilation air.

Consumption of electricity and heating reduced by 19 gigawatt hours

Using the aquifer, the airport can reduce its annual electricity consumption by 4 gigawatt hours (GWh) and its district heating use by about 15 GWh, or a total of 19 GWh, which is equivalent to the energy used annually by 2,000 single-family homes or at Malmö Airport.

Only green electricity and district heating from biofuel

Since 2005, Swedavia only uses green electricity at Stockholm Arlanda, and since 2006 it only uses district heating from biofuel. The aquifer allows these volumes of green electricity and district heating from biofuel to be freed up for others to purchase.