As a major electricity user in Australia, Qantas is committed to energy efficiency across all areas of our operations. We are measuring our energy consumption and implementing programs to ensure ongoing efficiency improvements. For example, between 2009/10 and 2013/14 we reduced total electricity consumption by 9.2% despite growth in our operations. Our journey of improvement continues. By 2020 we are aiming to reduce electricity use by 20% compared to 2009/10 consumption.
What we are doing
- We have constructed the largest commercial tri-generation power plant (cooling, heating and electricity) in Australia
- We have completed a major refurbishment of our corporate campus in Sydney that utilising all outputs of the trigeneration plant
- We continuously optimising our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
- We support Earth Hour
Case Study: Tri-generation power plant
We have built Australia's largest commercial tri-generation (cooling, heating and electricity) project in Sydney which uses natural gas to produce more efficient, lower carbon energy for our headquarters, catering centre, jet base and domestic terminal
The two power plants, constructed by GridX, will reduce CO2 emissions by 23,000 tonnes a year which is equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road.
We have also completed a major refurbishment of our corporate headquarters in Sydney. The refurbishment and tri-generation power plant will result in our multiple multi-story buildings rising from an average energy efficiency rating of NABERS 1.5 star to a NABERS 5 star.
More information about tri-generation technology
Tri-generation is the simultaneous production of three forms of energy: electricity, heating and cooling. A tri-generation system can provide power, hot water, space heating and air conditioning from a single system. Generators produce heat as they create electricity. A tri-generation facility captures this heat that would otherwise be lost and uses it to generate both hot and cold water.
The chilled water is created by an absorption chiller, which is generated by the excess heat and which operates similar to a refrigerator. It creates low temperature water for use in air conditioning.
Tri-generation facilities are efficient for two reasons:
- First, they avoid the losses associated with the transport of electricity.
- Second, they capture waste heat which is normally lost.
Tri-generation facilities can achieve overall energy efficiencies of 75-85%, compared to only 35% on average for conventional supply of electricity from the New South Wales grid.
The tri-generation facility at Qantas uses Reciprocating Gas engines. These are a cost-effective and mature technology.
The tri-generation uses natural gas, the most common fuel for tri-generation due to its relatively low cost, ease of transport (via pipeline), wide availability and lower greenhouse gas intensity per unit of energy.