Product profile: Cavotec INET electrical converters

Cavotec INET converter power aircraft all over the world

Cavotec INET converters power aircraft all over the world

Here is a brief overview of Cavotec INET electrical converters that ensure the safe and efficient transfer of electrical power to aircraft at airports around the world. 

Cavotec INET electrical converters convert 50Hz mains electrical power to sufficiently high voltages to power aircraft while they stand at the gate.

Aircraft require substantial amounts of power to run on board systems such as lighting, heating, avionics and air conditioning. Where electrical power from the ground is unavailable, aircraft have to run their auxiliary power units (APUs) to power these systems.

APUs however generate substantial amounts of pollutants into the air and consume considerable amounts of fuel. Aircraft that use electrical converters instead thus reduce the amounts of such emissions.

In several recent orders, for example with our latest GSE project in India, Cavotec’s offering has been significantly strengthened by the capacity to integrate electrical converter systems with other utility services into comprehensive turn-key packages.

Cavotec Ground support equipment

Cavotec is a leading system designer and integrator for the global airports sector. Our advanced ground support equipment minimises tarmac congestion, improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Click here for a full overview of our technologies for airports.

Click here for more on Cavotec INET converters.


Cavotec’s Bahrain International Project Takes Shape

Concrete chamber installation for Pop Up Pit

Work on our Bahrain International Airport project – on one of our flagship applications – continues to progress on schedule. The client, the Bahrain Airport Company, recently successfully commissioned the first of 18 Pre-conditioned Air (PCAir) units at the Cavotec Fladung facility in Germany. We expect the final commissioning phase to take place as planned, during Spring 2011.

Our PCAir systems form the centrepiece of this project, one of the largest in Cavotec’s history with a total value of some €30 million. We are also delivering and installing pop-up units, transformer sub-stations, 400Hz power supply systems, a Vacuum Evacuation System, a blue water supply system and a potable water supply system.

While PCAir itself is a highly innovative system, the concept draws together proven and tested engineering expertise from, among others, Alfa Laval and Atlas Copco. The system expands dry compressed air to cool parked aircraft. Pilots often run on-board auxiliary power units (APUs) to cool aircraft. These units can burn between 200 and 600 litres of fuel per hour, polluting airports and consuming fuel that could be used to fly aircraft – not cool them on the ground. It supports airports in creating APU-free aprons, providing the dual benefits of reducing pollution and reducing costs, making the system beneficial to all airport constituencies: airlines, airport operators, and communities surrounding airports.

Front: power cables for PCAir and 400 Hz equipment. Rear: PCAir pipes covered to prevent damage from UV rays.

The Bahrain order is a key element of the airport’s USD 4.7 billion expansion programme, designed to cater for the projected growth in passenger and freight numbers. The expansion, planned over the next 30 years, will triple passenger capacity to 27 million a year. Two new terminals will be opened in the next four years as part of the expansion. Bahrain’s expansion programme will see the creation of 110 aircraft stands, including 87 with contact gates. Bahrain International Airport currently hosts 42 airlines and is home to Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.

We are looking forward to continuing to work on this exciting project.

Successful trials for pre-conditioned air system with Airbus

We have completed a two-week series of intensive trials of our patented PCAir aircraft cooling system, with leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, at the group’s production plant in Toulouse, France.

The Cavotec PCAir System is unlike any other air-based technology on the market, expanding dry compressed air to produce 100 cubic metres of pre-conditioned air per minute, at minus 25 degrees Celsius.  Using conventional systems makes it very difficult to cool aircraft on the ground because intel temperatures need to be at least five degrees Celsius.

Pilots tend to run on board auxiliary power units (APUs) to cool parked aircraft, as conventional systems are often ineffective. APUs can burn between 200 and 600 litres of fuel per hour, generating pollution at airports and consuming costly fuel that could be used to fly aircraft – not cool them on the ground. Cavotec’s PCAir system provides the dual benefits of reducing pollution and reducing costs. This makes the PCAir system beneficial to all airport constituencies: airlines, airport operators, and communities surrounding airports.

The culmination of in-house testing and the two-week trials at Airbus proved that our PCAir systems operates effectively, having successfully delivered –25°C ‘dry air’ in environments with ambient temperatures of up to 48°C. Most importantly, the PCAir system cooled Airbus’ largest wide body aircraft, the A380, in less than 30 minutes, proving the system’s adaptability for the entire Airbus fleet.

We have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Airbus, supplying in-ground supply systems for production hangars and delivery positions, including those for the A380 programme. Earlier this year, Cavotec won an order to supply 12 in-ground utility systems for the new Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, China. In addition, Cavotec has supplied delivered in-ground supply systems for the Airbus A400M production hangars in Seville, Spain, and produces a full range of tow bars for all Airbus aircraft types.