How to choose Ground Power Units
by Carlo Fernandez Benedetto
Aspects to consider for your purchase
There are many types of aircraft and many of them have different power systems and characteristics at different loads that make them in part common and unified, but sometimes also, quite unique.
From the type of current to the type of aircraft and all other aspects to consider here, we will cover most of them along with the operational details you need to take into account to help you find the correct Ground Power Unit for your aircraft needs.
Before you pack your bags:
Lets cover the basics
There are aircraft that use Alternating Current or AC and others that use Direct Current or DC
Your home has either 50Hz or 60Hz frequency on AC. Most large passenger aircraft use Alternating Current at 400Hz (Agreed in aviation for lighter generators).
In contrast, your vehicle uses Direct Current (alternator power must be converted to DC before it can be used in cars). Most helicopters and small jets and aircraft use 28.5 Volts DC powered systems with the use of batteries. With me so far?
Great! So like your home, a hangar or airport will have 50-60Hz AC current, that needs to be converted to 400Hz for all aircraft that use AC, or rectified to 28 Volts DC as per aviation’s unified standards.
So now you know, you need either a Converter (400Hz AC) or a Rectifier (28VDC) for your aircraft!
From here you need to consider some very important aspects ranging from the technical aspects of the aircraft to your business operational needs.
Do we need an ASU (Air Starter Unit)?
When it comes to a GPU vs an ASU: Check the aircraft’s Manual, your crew, ground handling manager or aircraft maintenance representatives. Most aircraft in well functioning form do not need a dated, costly, high maintenance, difficult to transport and prone to failure hydraulic unit. Electric or diesel GPUs prices are 4 to 10 or even 12 times less expensive than an ASU, and that is not taking into account the weight, maintenance and repair costs of ASUs!
Here, we have compiled for you a chart, with different aircraft models along with their respective Ground Power Units:
Aircraft models and their GPUs
A few more important details
If your Ground Power Unit needs to be mobile or on a remote stand: Diesel powered or battery powered hybrid, with a cable input or an electric-hybrid. If not it could be a static unit: Under a passenger bridge, inside an underground pit or hangar/shop. We are almost there, about to narrow it down…
The amount of load, the length of the cables, number of outputs from the unit (depending on the aircraft), sockets, plugs, the logos, color, address of delivery and logistics. All of these aspects can be clarified with the help of our sales managers! Shoot us an email or make an inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
But wait, there is more to consider. One of the most important aspects to take into account in order to have responsive, dedicated and effective 24/7 support online, warranty, on time delivery, flexibility of payments and overall peace of mind is,
Last but not least; The manufacturer
The quality and warranty of the product, your climate, operating hours, your units documentation and expected lifespan, the products after sales support availability and response times, as well as the price of the unit.
With so many options out there is hard to tell what is the best brand to choose. Here we have a concise set of reasons why you shouldn’t pay more than what you have to, in order to achieve the results that you want with the quality and experienced support that you need:
ElectroAir – Comparative analysis
In ElectroAir we believe that our customers precede our reputation.
We specialize in engineering design and many years of manufacture for custom made Ground Power Units and are one of the few to also produce many related turnkey solutions including EN-124 F-900 pit systems, laboratory equipment, load banks, distribution pillars, PCA, cable extenders, fully scalable and customizable options for any aircraft type and model!
In our production of GPUs we use only components of the highest quality and from very well-known manufacturers. The manufacturing is done in the European Union (Estonia) and the components are all of very high quality, certified and from very well known European only manufacturers or origin. Awarded best product designer and recognized among the top 10 companies in The Estonian Entrepreneurship Award 2021.
The GPU`s internal and external design meets all of the required international standards for aviation. We are ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015 and 45001:2018 certified. The rectifier and converter components of our units have the highest military grade certificates and our internal designs are made in such a way that all the components which may need attention during maintenance or repair works are easily accessible and or replaceable too.
With many loyal customers from around the world and letters of recommendation and gratitude for units with certified results and output parameters from an experienced, reliable and very high quality manufacturer that we are when it comes to excellence in the design, production, delivery, commisioning and servicing throughout the life cycle of our products, we are sure that, for all of these reasons and many more you too, will always choose the best.
Thank you in advance for choosing ElectroAir!