While airborne, an aircraft’s electrical systems are powered by onboard generators. After parking at the gate, the aircraft is switched to an external power supply in the form of a ground power unit (GPU) to reduce emissions and noise levels, and minimize fuel consumption.
In the past, mobile diesel GPUs were more convenient than cleaner and quieter solid-state GPUs that were dependent on the availability of an electric power supply at an airport gate. After listening to calls from our customers and the aviation industry to develop cleaner technology, GSE developed the ITW GSE 7400 ground power unit (GPU), a low-emission innovation that utilizes battery power as opposed to conventional diesel fuel.
Running on battery power offers significant environmental savings for aircraft. For example, if running 5.5 hours a day, the diesel-driven GPUs produce 63,000 kilograms of CO2 over the course of a year. Running at the same levels, the ITW GSE 7400 produces only 6,500 kilograms of CO2, reducing emissions by 90 percent. During the same period, a diesel GPU will produce nearly 300 kilograms of NOx, compared to just 13.7 kilograms from the ITW GSE 7400.
In addition to producing minimal emissions, the ITW GSE 7400 is less expensive to run than a standard diesel GPU, can be used from remote parking areas to aircraft hangars, and can conveniently be recharged at the nearest power outlet. GPU operators also benefit from the reduced exposure to NOx, a concern shared by many airport health and safety organizations.
“Our vision is to provide solutions that will benefit our customers and the environment,” points out Poul Elvstroem, ITW GSE’s vice president of sales & marketing. “It’s with this vision in mind that we developed the ITW GSE 7400.”
The ITW GSE 7400 has been trialed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands with great success and will go into full production in 2018.