What are Aircraft Ground Power Units?
When parked on the ground an aircraft cannot use the normal 50Hz (or 60Hz in America) mains power as it needs 400Hz power. As a result, airports need specialised ground support equipment (GSE), also known as ground power units (GPUs), to allow the aircraft to function whilst on the ground. Our compact dimensioned frequency converters can be fixed to the gantry of a passenger loading bridge or can be hung underneath the walkway or simply fixed to a convenient place close to the aircraft.
The advantage of these GSEs is that it prevents the on board turbo generator APU being run, which produces a lot of noise and air pollution. Our ground power unit is connected to the normal 3 phase mains power source and delivers an output of 200V 3 phase 400 Hz power to the aircraft through a special flexible cable. The converter is only switched on when the aircraft needs the power.
It also has a built-in feature that allows the converter to synchronise with the on board aircraft power system so the lights, air conditioning system and the avionics continue operating during the change over from aircraft power to the external converter power.
This form of “point of use” ground power system is very energy efficient. Firstly, the converter is only switched on when needed. It is also more flexible than the earlier generation concepts of centralised 400Hz systems on older airports that operate large converters in parallel, drawing continuous power from the mains in anticipation of an incoming aircraft docking to connect to the distribution circuit. Our new product goes one step further: we now can deliver a dual system built into a single enclosure with two 90kVA output circuits so the new generation of wide-bodied aircraft can pick up power with two cables from a single location.
We can also provide a combination system in a single enclosure with a 3 phase 200V 400Hz output and with a secondary output of 28V DC 600Amps with peak of 2000A for helicopter engine starting and battery charging in a vertical configured compact dimensioned assembly. They can be installed in a maintenance hangar or on the apron of an airport.
This combination unit can also be built in the horizontal format for mounting under the passenger loading bridge and operate in conjunction with our automatic cable reeling unit.
The 90kVA, 120kVA and 180kVA systems can be supplied in outdoor or indoor enclosures with all-weather protection for fixed or mounted on a trailer for mobile applications.
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