Understanding the Importance of Ground Power Units

If you’ve ever stared out the window of an airport terminal while waiting for your flight, then you might have noticed that the planes are connected to a wire coming from a unit from the ground. At first glance, you might think it to be a fuel line pumping gas from their reserve. Actually, it’s what’s called a ground power unit (GPU).

What is a GPU?

A GPU can be either a fixed or mobile unit that connects to the electrical outlet of the plane while on the ground to provide a dedicated amount of power – normally 120V AC or 28V DC. There are a variety of specialized GPU’s utilized at airports with the most common ones being a diesel engine. Typically the setup consists of multiple generators that are installed within the runway so that each airplane receives a line upon arrival.

Hybrid GPU’s

When hybrid GPU’s went on the market, a quieter, yet powerful solution was introduced to the market. One example of this type of GPU is the diesel electric hybrid GPU, a sophisticated power solution that aided aircraft avionics as well as maintenance support and aircraft engine starting needs. It also provides continuous peak power to the aircraft itself and offers advanced protection systems lowering any faults or errors from occurring.

Another example would be the gas electric hybrid GPU. By combining the efficiency of both electricity and gas, these GPU’s are often used in smaller airports as well as large-scaled ones as well. With low-emission diesel utilized, their emission standards are lower than average, making them a environmentally-friendly alternative.


These GPU’s play a large role in the aviation industry being that they are utilizes in many major airports around the country. The goal was to design a revolutionary product that would set a new standard for ground power units. With an emphasis on size, peak power, protection, features, safety, and ease of use, these GPU units have become a hit with flight departments all over the world.
Start Pac offers reliable ground power units for aircraft, vehicles, and trains. If you are in need of a self-propelled GPU or a hybrid GPU, visit them online today!