NREL Publishes FAA-Sponsored Report on “Vertiport Electrical Infrastructure Requirements”

A vital and grow­ing need for devel­op­ing, con­struct­ing and deploy­ing ver­ti­ports  and acces­sories to ser­vice eVTOLs has led the FAA to spon­sor a NREL Report. This U.S‑based group spe­cialis­es in the research and devel­op­ment of renew­able ener­gy, ener­gy effi­cien­cy, ener­gy sys­tems inte­gra­tion and sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion. The acronym stands for ‘Nation­al Renew­able Ener­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry’.

One par­tic­u­lar area of inter­est is the elec­tri­cal charg­ing needs of eVTOL air­craft and the require­ments for elec­tri­cal infra­struc­ture. The Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion (FAA) has begun the process of iden­ti­fy­ing the impact of these alter­na­tive ener­gy sources on oper­a­tions, while prepar­ing guid­ance for com­mu­ni­ties and city plan­ners to address the chal­lenges that such air­craft and their sup­port­ing infra­struc­ture may bring.

Elec­tri­cal charg­ing loads will become a vital part of future con­struct­ed ver­ti­ports. The key research chal­lenge is the opti­mi­sa­tion of megawatt-scale build­ing and charg­ing loads, ener­gy stor­age and renew­ables pro­duc­tion.

The NREL report states, “Data col­lec­tion efforts were car­ried out to attain a holis­tic under­stand­ing of the ener­gy sys­tem require­ments with­in and around the ver­ti­port foot­print. Six orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) were con­tact­ed to obtain key data includ­ing air­craft per­for­mance, gen­er­al air­craft infor­ma­tion, and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty.”

It con­tin­ues, “Based on charg­ing demand deter­mined for each site, the research team at NREL per­formed three key analy­ses: grid impact, on-site gen­er­a­tion tech­no-eco­nom­ic analy­sis, and GHG emis­sions impact analy­sis due to eVTOL charg­ing load. Each analy­sis con­sid­ered three sce­nar­ios: busi­ness as usu­al (BAU) (with­out eVTOL charg­ing), BAU includ­ing charg­ing demand, and BAU includ­ing charg­ing demand and on-site renew­able gen­er­a­tion. 

“Jobs and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, as well as a haz­ards analy­sis, were also exam­ined. Grid impact analy­sis pro­vid­ed insights into the feed­er oper­at­ing con­di­tions under giv­en sce­nar­ios of elec­tric vehi­cle sup­port equip­ment (EVSE) infra­struc­ture and DER adop­tion and eval­u­at­ed upgrade costs.” 

NREL Research Facil­i­ty at Gold­en, Col­orado

This FREE and Lengthy Report can be down­loaded at:-


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(Top image: Cred­it — NREL)

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