DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) – New technology at Dallas Love Field Airport is taking sustainability to new heights.
The airport partnered with a Dallas-based company, JetWind Power Corporation, to test revolutionary technology that creates clean energy.
CBS News Texas got to head down to the tarmac and see exactly how the technology works.
An Energy Capturing Pod (ECP) captures the wind from jets taking off and then converts it into sustainable electricity.
The experiment all started with a little bit of curiosity.
"I'm a doctor. My day job is a surgeon, and I fully intend to be that," Founder of JetWind Power Corporation, Dr. T.O. Souryal, said.
Dr. Souryal is the former Dallas Mavericks physician and currently an orthopedic surgeon. His newest title is the Founder of JetWind Power Corporation.
The million-dollar question is, how did he get here?
"I travel a lot, that's part of the job description," he said. "There's quite a bit of travel. I love aviation, and I always have the window seat. I always look outside the window."
But there was one flight in particular nearly 20 years ago that Dr. Souryal remembers.
"There was debris flying out the window from the jet exhaust, and I thought to myself, wouldn't it be interesting if we could capture some of this debris and make something good out of it?"
That's just what he did. Two decades later, coupled with research and forward-thinking, sparked creation of the Energy Capturing Pod.
"The jet exhaust blows out, spins turbines, electricity is made, and we store it in batteries," Dr. Souryal explained.
The pilot program needed a place to conduct testing. It just so happened Dr. Souryal's experiment aligned perfectly with Dallas Love Field's sustainability goals.
"We are also looking for continuous improvement on carbon footprint here at the airport, so we are always looking at different sustainability initiatives," Isaac Ellison, Love Field Environmental Manager, said.
On the tarmac, travelers can catch a glimpse of the tests and trials next time they take off.
"What we are doing now with this part is trying different generators and rotors." Dr. Souryal said.
The wind captured by the pod generates approximately 250 watts of energy every time a plane takes off. It's enough energy to charge the electric vehicles next to the aircraft control tower.
Dr. Souryal believes the capabilities stretch far beyond this.
"What we are hoping in the very near future is to have a device charging station in the terminal, opposite of our pod site, so people can charge phones and iPads with exhaust from that aircraft right there."
Currently, Love Field is the only U.S. Airport testing the technology but it could be expanding to airports nationwide soon.
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