Ground power unit manufacturer Start Pac has designed the Start Pac Green (patent pending), a modular battery-powered GPU to replace diesel and gas-powered units.
Start Pac Green has been launched with the aim of replacing diesel power units, whilst providing the same service to create a greener working environment. This GPU is entirely battery powered and does not require an internal combustion engine to generate energy.
The majority of non-transport aircraft operate on the 24-volt direct current system. These aircraft need to be powered up for ground-based operations and their onboard batteries are inadequate, therefore there is a need for an external power supply source from a ground power unit.
Currently, most GPUs are powered with diesel engines, which are loud, environment polluting, expensive to run and maintain. To address this problem, airports worldwide are requiring diesel and gas-powered units to be replaced with battery powered electric models. Start Pac's Start Pac Green is said to be the first of its kind and has been specifically designed to replace these old, polluting GPUs. It features a larger battery bank for powering up the aircraft systems for extended periods of time, a smaller battery bank for engine starting, the starting battery bank can be removed from the ground power unit when a portable unit is required, and a built-in battery chargers to replenish both battery banks.
Airports account for 10 per cent of emissions in some urban areas and conventional fuel ground support equipment is the main source, even exceeding the emissions of aircraft. The Start Pac Green offers emission-free operations and consumes electricity with an efficiency of approximately 80 per cent, while fuel-powered vehicles are typically limited to efficiency below 20 per cent. The total cost of operation for the Start Pac Green has been calculated to be roughly half the cost of operating an equivalent diesel-powered unit.