Portable Aircraft-Starting Power When Needed

Due to their size, many aircraft are kept outside where they are subjected to elements like extreme cold or heat. In either case, onboard batteries can lose power at an increased discharge rate over time without proper care. That low battery power affects how well the engine turns over, or could have detrimental effects mid-flight. That’s why many hangars rely on a diesel electric hybrid GPU to provide the necessary power to turn over aircraft engines and keep them running on schedule.

How Portable Power Works

The hybrid ground power units perform the same duties as a yellow GPU starter, providing up to 28 volts of electrical power from a portable ground unit. This portable power supply jumps the aircraft engines, allowing pilots to turn over and start a plane’s engines regardless of weather conditions. When the temperature is extremely cold, aircraft fluids like engine oil become thicker and harder to turn and batteries generally lose much of their cranking power.

Likewise, the yellow aircraft starter unit will work in extremely hot temperatures. When conditions are warm, battery discharge rates are very high and the unit may actually weaken to the point where they do not have enough power to turn the engine over. For every 25 degrees the temperature rises, a battery doubles its discharge rate, which is especially troublesome in hot climates and hangars where planes are left on heat-trapping and reflecting asphalt and concrete runways. Just a few hours parked outside in the hot summer sun can be enough to sap battery strength in aircraft.

Power Unit Specs

The portable power units for aircraft are generally self-propelled and can weigh more than three-quarters of a ton. Two battery types generally provide the electrical power with a lithium ion or lead-type battery pack producing up to 300 amps and 28 volts of continuous power in a portable unit. The lead-type battery packs can work in temperatures ranging from –40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lithium ion pack works in temperatures generally ranging from –20 degrees to 120 degrees. The lead battery packs also produce more power than the lithium ion batteries.

The benefit of a diesel electric hybrid engine means the portable units can provide more power for less money than units without an electrical assist. The hybrid units burn less fuel, produce fewer emissions and are much quieter than their diesel counterparts. They are also much more economical and environmentally friendly. And when packaged in a self-propelled unit, the extreme portability of the aircraft charging packs allows them to be stored securely indoors and brought out when needed to help ensure extreme reliability and maximum power while also making it possible to turn over the engines of aircraft during extreme weather.