Blog post -
Cavotec’s electric PowerPacks ensure airline passengers get to where they need to be on time and in great shape
Ever wonder how planes are powered once they arrive at the airport? How do aircraft lighting, air conditioning, and other services stay on after a plane’s engines have been turned off? Well, the answer is electrical power from the ground – often provided by Cavotec 400Hz PowerPacks. And if 400Hz sounds like a lot, it is; because that’s the sort of power planes need to literally keep the lights and everything else on when they’re on the ground. In this post, we find out more about how our powerful PowerPacks deliver the kind of capacity that modern aircraft need.
When aircraft arrive at the gate, their engines are switched off and planes are then connected to external electrical power. This is where our 400Hz PowerPacks come in. These systems are fitted under passenger boarding bridges (PBB), on the apron, or installed in mobile units, known as caddies, that are then positioned next to parked aircraft.
Cavotec PowerPacks are compatible with all types of 400Hz aircraft, including the Airbus A350, the A380 “superjumbo”, as well as shorter range aircraft like the A320 Neo and A321. Naturally, the PowerPack also works with Boeing aircraft, such as the B787, as well as all other 400Hz aircraft.
Our PowerPack systems are suitable for a range of input voltages. This is important because voltages vary around the world. Our PowerPacks also have a minimum drawdown effect on local electrical grids. Overall, these systems increase efficiency dramatically and reduce energy consumption at airports. And the fact that planes can be connected to Cavotec PowerPacks within minutes of aircraft arriving at the gate means that aircraft engines can be switched off more quickly, thereby reducing emissions and improving turnaround times. This means that aircraft become available for their next flights more quickly. Airports like this, and so do airlines.
Cavotec PowerPacks are also flexible in terms of where they can used – which is basically all over the world. We have designed them to operate in the harshest of environmental conditions and in a temperature range of minus 40° Celsius to plus 56° Celsius. The system’s enclosure is also prevents moisture and dust from getting in. In fact, the enclosure is IP55 rated – a widely recognised standard for aviation equipment.
The PowerPack can be installed either horizontally or vertically. What’s the difference? Basically, this makes it easier for airports to design gates flexibly for changing operational requirements and evolving aircraft design. This all helps improve operational efficiency today and tomorrow.
So, next time you board a plane, take a moment to see if it’s a Cavotec PowerPack that’s powering your plane – cutting costs and reducing environmental impact all at the same time. Safe travels!
Read more about Cavotec PowerPack and other innovative 400Hz systems here.