Here’s how the heating system works at Malmö Airport:

The facility at the airport consists of a solar heating unit and a boiler system. The boiler system consists of four boilers. The two main boilers, each with a 2.5 MW capacity, use fuel in the form of pellets. The 4 MW backup and peak-load boiler uses biofuel in the form of vegetable oil or EO1. In 2013, a small boiler of 500 kW will be installed. It will be used mainly during the summer along with the solar heating unit.

During most of the year, heat is also supplied by the solar heating system. This delivers up to about 300 kW and consists of 5,600 vacuum tubes. The airport chose vacuum tubes for two reasons. Firstly because they produce more heat than a corresponding area of flat solar panels, and secondly because they meet the airport’s safety requirements: the vacuum tubes do not produce reflections that might distract aircraft in operation.

The heat produced is delivered via the internal district-heating infrastructure that covers the entire airport. It is then used to provide hot water and central heating at each respective building throughout the airport.

The facility has been partly financed through grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and the County Administrative Board/National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. The Environmental Protection Agency regarded this project as worthy of the Golden Nugget award and accordingly provided an investment grant of 6 million kronor for its implementation. The County Administrative Board/National Board of Housing, Building and Planning provided investment support to the tune of 3.4 million kronor.

The biofuel unit came on stream in 2007 and the solar heating system started operating in autumn 2008. In 2011 the facility supplied about 220 MWh to the internal district-heating network, corresponding to the energy consumption of 15 normal-size villas.