in Aerospace

Kubota UK partners with Powervamp

Posted 7 March 2018 · Add Comment

Manufacturer of industrial diesel and dual fuel engines, Kubota UK, is targeting significant growth in the aviation ground power equipment market after joining forces with Powervamp.

Powervamp, an aviation power specialist that manufactures ground power equipment to airports globally, is using Kubota’s US EPA Tier 4 compliant, three cylinder, water cooled D902-E4B diesel engine to power its Coolspool Hybrid 300.

The Coolspool Hybrid 300 is designed to provide continuous power for avionics and to start the engines on all DC turbine and turboprop aircraft, such as regional airliners like the ATR 42 and 72, ERJ 135 and 145, the Jetstream 32 and 42 and the Saab 340.

This compact and high performance solution is transforming the aviation ground power equipment market based on its ability to deliver the peak amperage for starting large turbines where previously a dedicated diesel ground power unit (GPU) four times the size would have been used.

Richard Roller, Chairman and founder of Powervamp, said: “The aviation industry has been using oversized diesel GPU’s just to deliver peak amperage for a few seconds, for too long.  These types of units are expensive to purchase and operate, take up a lot of space and are hugely inefficient, burning huge quantities of fuel at a major cost to the operators. 

“At Powervamp, we identified that there was a massive market for regional airline operators requiring a hybrid unit that could provide continuous power up to 300amps from a very small correctly sized diesel unit. By combining the diesel output with a bank of high discharge batteries, we can deliver the very high instant amperage, sometimes exceeding 2000 amps, during the short duration of the start cycle with continuous ripple free power during the aircraft turn round being provided by the small diesel engine.  The Powervamp Coolspool Hybrid 300 delivers exactly that.”

“One of the major benefits is the hybrid solution.  With many airports under increasing pressure to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, it makes this an environmentally friendly option.  It is also extremely compact, making it easier to move. By “filtering” the generator output through the high discharge batteries the Hybrid delivers exceptionally stable DC power which is a massive advantage for certain aircraft that can be easily grounded due to the effects of “dirty power” on their avionics. Voltage spiking is a big problem, which can result in costly downtime, so having a product like the Coolspool Hybrid 300 where the DC power is pure, safeguards the aircrafts avionics.”

Kubota’s D902-E4B, one of the most compact multi-cylinder liquid cooled industrial diesel engine on the market, is being supplied to Powervamp for its Coolspool Hybrid 300 by Kubota UK’s Engines Distributor Mitchell Powersystems.

Richard continued: “Kubota engines are renowned across the world for their exceptional performance and reliability, so we are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with them.  There are a number of key advantages to joining forces with Kubota.  Firstly, the fact Kubota engines are known the world over helps give the Coolspool Hybrid 300 acceptance on the mechanical side. 

“The Kubota engine also gives us the right amount of power we need.  Previously, we had been using a competitor engine but this didn’t give us the power we required, particularly if the Coolspool was being used in high altitude or high temperature locations.  The Kubota D902 is correctly sized for this solution, making it the perfect fit.  Finally, it was also critical that the engine we used was US EPA Tier 4 compliant, giving us a product that we can market worldwide that meets and exceeds legislative requirements.”

Powervamp has recently sold three Coolspool Hybrid 300 to Air Tahiti following successful trials and the company is now planning a programme of worldwide demonstrations to prove the benefits of this solution to regional airlines and airports, starting with Logan Air of Scotland, Silver Airways in Florida and another operator that owns one of the largest ATR fleets.

Andrew Wolton, Account Manager for Kubota UK’s Engines Division, commented: “Kubota has developed an enviable reputation in the industrial equipment industries but there’s a significant opportunity for us to grow our brand awareness and increase our market penetration in the aviation industry. 

“This partnership with Powervamp strengthens our position in this important sector further and we are looking forward to building on this as Powervamp rolls out its Coolspool Hybrid 300 demonstrations globally. There are huge escalating costs involved if a plane doesn’t take off. To avoid any unnecessary departure delays, airport terminals have to run like clockwork. The Coolspool Hybrid 300, powered by Kubota, guarantees clean power and  delivers the versatility and essential reliability that operators demand, at a fraction of the cost and environmental impact compared to a conventional diesel ground power unit.”

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