Other Generator Controls and Monitoring Devices

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    Engine Driven AC Generators

      • Each of the engines on an aircraft drives an AC generator
      • The power produced by these generators is used in normal flight to supply the entire aircraft with power

      APU Power

      • Most often the APUs power is used while the aircraft is on the ground during maintenance or for engine starting
      • However, most aircraft can use the APU while in flight as a backup power source
        • One exception to this is the B272, which only allows APU operation in the ground

      External Power

      • External power may only be used with the aircraft on the ground
      • This system utilizes a Ground Power Unit (GPU) to provide AC power through an external plug on the nose of the aircraft
      • GPUs may be either portable or stationary units

      Ram Air Turbine

      • Some aircraft are equipped with Ram Air Turbines, or “RATs”
      • These may be used, in the case of a generator or APU failure, as an emergency power source
      • When necessary, the RAT may be deployed to be used as an AC power source

      Aircraft Batteries

      • The aircraft’s nickel cadmium battery is final source of backup power
      • The battery provides 28 VDC
      • It is also possible to change the 28 VDC into 115 VAC 400Hz with the use of a static inverter
      • When using the battery, power usage is limited by the short life of the battery

      Electrical Power System Components

      • AC Generator
      • Constant Speed Drive
      • Integrated Drive Generator
      • Transformer Rectifier Unit
      • Generator Control Unit

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      Aircraft Electrical Systems

        • The function of the aircraft electrical system is to generate, regulate and distribute electrical power throughout the aircraft
        • New-generation aircraft rely heavily on electrical power because of the wide use of electronic flight instrument systems

        Electrical Power Uses

        • Aircraft electrical power is used to operate:
        • Aircraft Flight Instruments
        • Essential Systems
        • Passenger Services

        Electrical Power Uses (cont.)

        • Essential power is power that the aircraft needs to be able to continue safe operation
        • Passenger services power is the power that used for:
          • Cabin lighting
          • Operation of entertainment systems
          • Preparation of food

        Power Used

        • Aircraft electrical components operate on many different voltages both AC and DC
        • However, most of the systems use:
          • 115 VAC @ 400 Hz
          • 28 VDC
        • 26 VAC is also used in some aircraft for lighting

        Power Sources

        • There are sever different power sources on large aircraft to be able to handle excessive loads, for redundancy, and for emergency situations.
        • These power sources include:
          • Engine driven AC generators
          • Auxiliary Power Units
          • External power
          • Ram Air Turbines

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