Plattsburgh International Airport

Plattsburgh International Airport

The system provides solar heated air whenever there is
sunshine and there is a need to heat the ventilation air.
The systems generally heat the air to a temperature of
36F to 85F above ambient; recent monitored data shows
gains of over 120F above ambient. In addition to providing
solar heated air, the system helps recapture heat that
would ordinarily be lost through the walls. It has been observed
by Tom Long (Airport Manager) that “the buildings
now takes only 45 minutes to re-heat versus 3 hours before
the system was installed”. In the summer months the
SolarWall system shields the wall from the sun.


The Plattsburgh International Airport (PIA) is located in Plattsburgh New York. The airport is a former military installation (Plattsburgh Airport Base) that was converted to private sector use in 2008. PIA was looking for a project to reduce their heating bills in order to keep rental costs competitive. The solution; SolarWall 2-Stage solar air heating systems, which qualified for funding by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), originated from the US Department of Energy and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


PIA installed SolarWall 2-Stage solar air heating systems on four existing buildings in 2011. The buildings include three 28,000 ft2 hangars and a 26,500 ft2 industrial facility. The size of the custom engineered black SolarWall 2- Stage systems were 3500 ft2, 3500 ft2, 6000 ft2, and 4840 ft2 respectively. The SolarWall 2-Stage system uses the standard unglazed SolarWall for the lower portion of the wall, with the top SolarWall portion of the unit (2nd stage) covered by polycarbonate glazing. It is attached to the walls by framing materials, which are spaced to provide optimized channels for air flow between the SolarWall and the wall. Outside air is drawn across the SolarWall system from the