Transitioning GSE Fleets to Electric by ProQuest


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									                                                                                                            ALTERNATIVE FUEL

Transitioning GSE
Fleets to Electric
Insights on efficiently evolving GSE to the new                                                             By Shamballa Kawamoto
                                                                                                            and Richard McFarlane,
electric-powered paradigm                                                                                   Curtis Instruments Inc.

           lectrification of ground support vehicles and             caught short when legislation begins to demand it. The

 E         equipment is part of a global effort toward
           cleaner airport transportation. There has been
                                                                     even better news is, your shift to electrically powered
                                                                     GSE will pay for itself within a few years … and can then
much discussion about the benefits. Airports and airlines            start producing significant operational savings.
save significantly in operating costs by implementing green
transportation because it is far less expensive in the long          GETTING THERE FROM THE GROUND UP
term, according to some industry estimates. Naturally, the                If you are looking to board this movement early,
environmental benefit is immense, as fuel consumption is             you will need solid support from reliable experts.
reduced and air quality is improved, especially in indoor            You might get some guidance from the FAA’s Office of
facilities. With the growing trend toward electric equip-            Airports Community and Environmental Needs Division
ment, the focus is now on transitioning fleets.                      or state and local based nonprofits such as the New York
      How do you begin to approach this transformation?              Power Authority, for example. It is also beneficial to
How can you justify and sustain the expense? The good                cooperate with a supplier that specializes in electric
news is, you can ease into electrification and not get               vehicle systems.

 Traction Batteries                  Charger                                        Programmer
 The vehicle’s                       Charges the vehicle’s battery                  A programming and diagnostics tool
 power source.                       system.                                        to tune and troubleshoot the system.

                                                                                    AC Traction Electric Motor
                                                                                    Converts the electrical power into
                                                                                    vehicle movement.

                                                                                    Power Steering Controller
                                                                                    The controller uses operators’ input
                                                                                    to direct the electric steering
                                                                                    motor’s movements.

                                                                                    AC Electric Steering Motor
                                                                                    Provides the vehicle’s power steering.

 DC Contactor                        DC/DC Converter                                Traction Controller
 An electromechanical switch         Converts battery voltage                       The primary electronic controller
 that provides the                   to a lower voltage to run                      of the vehicle’s powertrain that
 power connection                    auxiliary vehicle systems,                     converts operator commands
 between the battery                 such as the lights.                            to smooth operation of the AC
 and vehicle systems.                                                               traction motor and provides
                                                                                    fault detection capabilities.


FAA: U.S. Aircraft GSE by Owner                                                                      It is still early in the process
                                                                                                of electrification. There are approxi-
Approx. 72,000 total units -                                                                    mately 72,000 GSE units currently
average age of 9.4 years                                                                        in use in the United States, a mere
                                                                                                10 percent of which are electric; but
      Airline Owned                                                                             the opportunities to go electric are
                                                                                                everywhere. From tugs, tractors, bag-
                                                                                                gage handlers, cargo loaders, belt-
      Other                              75%
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