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Auxiliary Power Unit SubstitutiOn Service For AircraFt

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - APU-OFF (Auxiliary Power Unit SubstitutiOn Service For AircraFt)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31

APU-OFF is an innovative service and change in business model for providing power to grounded aircraft on the airport apron. The objective is to ensure adequate air-conditioning and electricity to planes during turn-around, so they don't need to use the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). The APU is a small jet engine, fitted to planes, to generate electricity and provide compressed air, for air-conditioning and main engine starting, when the main engines are stopped. As jet engines, APUs make a lot of noise and polluting emissions, particularly compared to alternatives, like ground-based diesel generators and air-conditioners, making them unpopular with airport authorities and local residents. APUs are also relatively inefficient, consuming a lot of expensive aviation fuel. There are clear advantages for airlines and other stakeholders to using alternatives to the APU.
However, today, much of the equipment provided is inadequate, resulting in pilots resorting to use the APU, with all its downsides (noise, pollution, cost), and operating ground equipment, consuming fuel and generate noise and emissions being redundant.
In this Feasibility Study we have studied the technical viability of the equipment needed to deliver the service and the operational aspects, including the associated risks. A detailed freedom to operate analysis has not revealed any intellectual property obstacles to the project, and has allowed to refine our IPR strategy. The commercial viability has been validated through detailed market analysis, which has led to the definition of a commercial strategy for taking the project forward. A preliminary estimate of the project costs and sales projection demonstrate that the project is financially viable and gives an estimate of the funding requirements.
With the APU-OFF service aeroplanes can definitively stop using the APU, reducing ground level pollution at airports and the noise level on the tarmac. Airlines will save on the cost of fuel usually used for the APU-OFF, which can be passed on the passengers in lower fares. We achieve this through a new generation of ground support equipment and data gathering strategy to continuously improve our equipment and service.