The AXA Power pre-conditioned air (PCA) unit sets new standards for PCA. This EU manufactured PCA will be the market’s most innovative, reliable and environmentally friendly PCA ever; and the first modular one, too. The design is based on the ITW GSE Group’s experience with PCA acquired during the past 35 years in combination with AXA Power’s comprehensive knowledge of controlling and optimizing 400 Hz equipment.
The AXA Power PCA is equipped with multiple cooling modules. Quite extraordinarily, each module can easily and quickly be drawn out and replaced by personnel without any specific knowledge of refrigeration. Also, the AXA Power PCA can continue providing cooled air even with one module inactive.
The AXA Power PCA can be installed either as a fixed unit on the ground or hanging underneath the passenger boarding bridge. It provides a supply of fresh and highly filtered air into the aircraft at carefully monitored temperatures. This plays an important role in efficient aircraft turn-around, ensuring a pleasant working environment for the staff that are busy getting the aircraft ready – and making the plane feel fresh and inviting for the next passengers.
All the main components of the AXA Power PCA are powered by variable frequency drives which adjust to the actual capacity need, thus reducing the energy consumption to a bare minimum. Due to the 12-pulse technology, applied by AXA Power since 1997, the AXA Power PCA has an excellent high power factor of >0.97 which gives up to 20% savings on the required line current compared to similar PCA units of the same rating. Thanks to the new condenser design, the AXA Power PCA only uses a very small ozone-free refrigerant charge, thus keeping the environmental impact down.
AXA Power’s ‘go green’ philosophy
Airports are under increasing pressure to reduce environmental impacts. Many airport operators have already taken steps towards a greener environment by restricting the use of aircraft Auxiliary Power Units (APUs). At AXA Power, we recommend letting external 400Hz solid-state power units and pre-conditioned air units take over the duties of the aircraft APU while the aircraft is parked at the gate. We call this the ‘go green on ground’ philosophy as it significantly reduces CO2 emissions and noise levels at the airport. For the airlines, this concept means reduced fuel and APU maintenance costs, says Xavier Charrondière.
When an airport adopts the AXA Power ‘go green on ground’ philosophy, aircraft captains can shut down the on-board APU as soon as possible after docking at the gate, and APU carbon emissions can be reduced by as much as 85%.
For airlines, this is crucial. New European CO2 emission legislation for commercial flights within the EU comes into force in 2011, and for flights to and from the EU in 2012. Unless action is taken, airlines may well exceed their emission quotas and either be forced to buy special emission permits or accept fines for every excess tonne of CO2 emissions.