ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Innovative Means to Minimize Electric Ground Support Equipment Charging Infrastructrure Costs

Garrett P. Beauregard, Vice President, Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec)

May 12, 2008
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Use of electric ground support equipment (GSE) is considered a viable option for reducing non-aircraft exhaust emissions at airports. In 2002, eTec began a project with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) (administered by Sacramento Municipal Utility District [SMUD]) to develop a battery-powered aircraft pushback tractor for pushing aircraft away from the gate when ready for departure. This tractor was to be tested by United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to determine if a low-capacity, high power density battery combined with fast opportunity charging could meet the operational needs of the airlines.

In 2005, a related project-funded through CARB's Innovative Clean Air Technology (ICAT) program-was added. This project called for the demonstration of eTec's Bridge Power Manager (BPM), which allows the battery charger to share the jet bridge's existing power circuit without overloading that circuit's built-in protection. Time-sharing the power circuit in this way eliminates the need for, and cost of, installation of a new circuit, hopefully removing this obstruction to the introduction of electric GSE at many airports.

During the course of the project, the site was moved to Oakland International Airport (OAK) in partnership with Southwest Airlines (SWA). In September 2007, eTec, OAK and SWA planned and conducted the installation of the battery charger and BPM at gate 32 at OAK, and the system became operational in mid-October, 2007. The demonstration effort was conducted for a six-month evaluation period. During this time, the charger recorded data for each charge event, including interruptions required by the BPM to limit total power in the jet bridge circuit. The data show that the BPM technology was successful in allowing SWA to operate their electric GSE without loss of use due to lack of charger availability.

This demonstration enabled SWA to experience the operation of the BPM with their current battery charging equipment. As a result, SWA elected to purchase additional BPMs and chargers from eTEC to expand its use of electric GSE at OAK.

Speaker Biography

Garrett P. Beauregard is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the eTec Labs at ECOtality. Mr. Beauregard earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1994 and an MBA in Marketing and Information Technologies from Oakland University in 1999. He served as Development Engineer-Advanced Technology Vehicles at General Motors (1994-1999) and Senior Engineer at Genie Industries (1999-2000). From July of 2000 through the present, Mr. Beauregard has applied his mechanical engineering, IT, and business management skills at eTec (purchased by ECOtality in October of 2007).

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