Best Group Introduces New Ground Power Units

 - December 21, 2020, 6:53 PM
The new 28-VDC, 57-amp Best Power GPU BP-57/100 ground power unit. (Photo: Rich Pickett)

The team at Best Tugs has launched two additional product lines: Best Power and Best Scrubbers. With the expansion of its aviation lineup, the company created Best Aviation Products as the umbrella for current offerings and future products. Located in Spanish Fork, Utah, Best Aviation Products is expanding with staff engineers led by company co-owners Mark and Mike Patey.

Best Power's new ground power unit (GPU) is in full production, with the first product in the new series being the 28-VDC, 57-amp BP-57/100. This GPU operates on 120-240 VAC, allowing it to be used around the world. Producing 57 amps of conditional power with surge capability of 100 amps, it can be used to power a variety of ground power needs from aircraft database updates to electric flap operation and testing.

The GPUs are up to 91 percent efficient in generating 28-VDC power and the power is filtered to avoid any spikes or abnormal frequencies, which is important for the growing number of aircraft equipped with modern avionics. The capability for surge protection and up to 100 amps for 10 seconds in the 57-amp version allows operation of electric flaps on an Eclipse 500, for example, without the worry of a short-term need for power that might overtax the electrical system.

Some GPU features that pilots find extremely useful are the digital displays of energy. This includes voltage and also amperage draw, watts currently being used, and total watts while it is connected to the aircraft.   

During a test of the GPU, I decided to assess the company’s claim regarding the full 57 amps, which was easy with my Eclipse 500 by activating the three pitot/AOA probes. The GPU display indicated 57 amps and the voltage was rock-steady at 28.5 VDC. 

With that milestone reached, I went even further to exceed the GPU’s rated amperage draw. While I don’t recommend operators stress testing the GPU on their airplanes, I was willing to try. I activated enough systems on my Eclipse to raise the current to 67 amps; not surprisingly the voltage dropped below 28 VDC, but it was still above battery voltage. 

The display allows users to monitor the load and reduce it as necessary to keep within specs and provide the power needed for the aircraft. If the power needs are higher, then it would make sense to purchase a larger unit rather than unknowingly overload the aircraft’s power circuits.

The GPU is set at the factory to 28.5 VDC. That works perfectly for my piston Cirrus SR22 and turbine Eclipse 500. For aircraft with a specific voltage, Best Aviation Products can adjust the output as necessary.

The 57-amp Best Power GPU costs $1,495. A larger unit producing 114 amps—the BP-114/200— is also now available for $1,995. Still larger are the 171-amp BP-171/300 and 300-amp BP-228/400 power supplies, which will be available in the first quarter of 2021. All units, with the exception of the 57-amp GPU, require 220 VAC. The first model of the new floor scrubbers is available now, the 28-inch Best Scrubber-28, for $8,348. A smaller 20-inch version will be available in early 2021.