Schiphol testing ‘super battery’ in major step towards energy storage and further electrification of ground equipment


Schiphol – a Corporate Partner of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub – is taking a major step towards energy storage and the further electrification of ground equipment by trialling an Iron Flow Battery. Photo: Roger Cremers

Schiphol – a Corporate Partner of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub – is taking a major step towards energy storage and the further electrification of ground equipment with the arrival of an Iron Flow Battery at the airport. The large battery, recently installed on the A/B apron, offers a reliable power supply for the charging of electrical equipment, relieving pressure on the grid.

The Iron Flow Battery will be tested extensively over the coming months. During the trial period, the battery will be supplying the electric Ground Power Units (e-GPUs) on the A/B apron with electricity. The e-GPUs provide power to parked aircraft at locations with no fixed electricity supply. This means that, when combined with a Preconditioned Air Unit (PCA) that provides fresh air onboard, the aircraft’s auxiliary engine can remain switched off when on the ground. This ensures better air quality on the apron and a reduction in noise.

The Iron Flow Battery is distinguished by its use of natural components. In contrast to commonly used lithium batteries, the battery works using iron and salt water – materials that are widely available, have a lower environmental impact and are fire safe. The capacity of the battery remains constant for up to 20 years.

“I am extremely proud of this innovation,” said Sybren Hahn, Executive Director Infrastructure, Royal Schiphol Group. “The Iron Flow Battery is a great example of how we as an airport want to lead the way with innovative infrastructure that improves the quality of work. During the test period, the focus is on user-friendliness, reliability and efficiency. If the result is successful, more batteries will follow, with the aim of making all ground equipment emission-free and electric.”

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