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PRIMEX Aerospace Company. AC Power Discussion Paper WAEA Technical Committee 13JUN00 Presented by: Dr. Rory G. Briski Manager, Business Development. The world’s leading supplier of aircraft cabin power systems. Agenda. History of In-Seat Power Current State of Passenger Cabin Power Market

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primex aerospace company
PRIMEX Aerospace Company

AC Power Discussion Paper WAEA Technical Committee13JUN00

Presented by:

Dr. Rory G. Briski

Manager, Business Development

The world’s leading supplier of aircraft cabin power systems

  • History of In-Seat Power
  • Current State of Passenger Cabin Power Market
  • Review of Industry Specifications
  • AC Systems
a brief history of in seat power
A Brief History of In-Seat Power
  • PRIMEX pioneered the in-seat power market in 1995 with the first installation in July 1996
  • Initial research was on either an AC or DC based system
  • FAA said that AC would NOT be certified
  • We selected 15Vdc as it is near the top of the automotive standard (9 to 16Vdc) spec.
  • Page entered the market with a variable voltage range of 9 to 16Vdc but eventually joined us in our selected voltage of 15Vdc.
  • De Facto Industry standard is now a fixed 15Vdc
empower in seat power distribution system
EmPower In-Seat PowerDistribution System

AC Cabin Distribution

AC/DC Conversion

115Vac 400hz



Master Control Unit

primex in seat power on 46 of 62 airlines
PRIMEX In-Seat Power on 46 of 62 Airlines
  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeroflot
  • Aeromexico
  • Air 2000
  • Air Canada
  • Air Europa
  • Air Europe
  • Air Madagascar
  • Air New Zealand
  • Airtours Int’l
  • Aloha
  • American
  • Ansett
  • AOM
  • Aviateca
  • British Midland
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Citybird
  • Continental
  • Delta
  • EL AL
  • Eurofly
  • Grupo TACA
  • Iberia
  • Iceland Air
  • Kenya
  • Lasca
  • Lan Chile
  • Malaysia
  • Privatair SA
  • Qantas
  • SAS
  • Singapore
  • Sun Country
  • Swissair
  • TAM
  • Thai
  • United
  • Varig
  • Virgin
  • + Unannounced
aircraft in seat power systems
Aircraft In-Seat Power Systems

1,663 aircraft with PRIMEX DC In-Seat Power systems

primex ac cabin power products
PRIMEX AC Cabin Power Products
  • 14,588 Units Installed
    • Shaver Supplies 346-1 (9,105 units)
    • Shaver Supplies 1021-1 (5,343 units)
    • Galley Supplies 1021-11 (140 units)
  • 1,500 aircraft systems in-place
137 955 seats being fitted with in seat power
137,955 Seats being fitted withIn-Seat power

102,621 seats with PRIMEX IN-Seat Power systems

in seat dc power installing on 26 aircraft types
In-Seat DC Power installingon 26 Aircraft Types
  • A300-600
  • A319
  • A320-200
  • A321
  • A330-200
  • A330-300
  • A340-300
  • B727-200
  • B737-200


















23 Aircraft Types with PRIMEX systems

Economy Class DC Power Installations Increase to 49% of Aircraft Systems(No AC Power Installs in Economy)



860 Aircraft with PRIMEX systems in Y/C

current in seat power usage
Current In-Seat Power Usage
  • # of Auto/Air Adapters Sold (retail)
    • About 38,000 units sold per month
    • Over 1 Million units sold to date
    • Sales in 150 countries
  • Direct Connect 15Vdc Laptops
    • Compaq, NEC, Apple
    • In-Work: IBM, Toshiba
  • Palm Pilot Adapters
  • Sony 8mm Video Players
  • Panasonic DVD Players
  • Pioneer DVD Players
current in seat power usage1
Current In-Seat Power Usage
  • 16% of those surveyed USED in-seat power on their last long haul flight
  • 3 million passengers per month
  • Customers complain when they don’t have access
review of existing industry standards
Review of Existing Industry Standards:
  • 15Vdc in-seat power systems are FAA / CAA Certified on 20 aircraft types
    • Type Certificate (TC)
    • Supplemental Type Certificate (STC)
  • ARINC 628 Part 2
    • Had all elements of in-seat power defined and included in the specification
    • At AEEC General Session in 1998 the committee made the decision to remove ALL references to in-seat power while waiting for a statement by the FAA about the safety of battery charging while in-flight.
    • Still awaiting an official statement by the FAA…
  • DC Power system installations and Certifications continue without interruption.
there are two assumptions that are fueling the demand for ac systems
There are two assumptions that are fueling the demand for AC Systems
  • Too difficult for passengers to get the DC adapters
    • Adapters are available around the world: in retail stores, from Laptop Manufacturers, mail order, from individual airline sales, from Web e-stores, in Airport Kiosks, etc.
    • Adapter Availability:
      • CompUSA, Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax, OfficeDepot, Circuit City, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, All major US resellers, Luggage on the Go (Heathrow), MicroWarehouse (UK), Four retailers in Germany, Available through major distributors throughout Europe and Asia
    • In Partnership with PORT is offering a 20% discount on the PORT Auto/Air Power Adapter to all Continental Airlines passengers and employees.
    • Earn Miles when you purchase a PORT Auto/Air Power Adapter.
  • Passengers don’t use the DC systems
    • According to IATA 1999 survey, 16% used in-seat power on their last long haul flight… That’s a lot of people...
current ac dc matrix
DC Power Pro’s

Huge Installed Base

Commonality between airlines

Small Form Factor can fit into economy seats

Mature Systems flying without incident

DC Power Con’s

Difficult for Passengers to SPONTANEOUSLY Use

Current AC/DC Matrix
  • AC Power Pro’s
    • Can use existing AC power adapter
  • AC Power Con’s
    • Certification Challenge Ongoing
    • Large Outlet Form Factor for Seat
    • More configurations for Airframes/Airlines to support
    • Increased potential for misuse
    • Perceived Safety Issues
    • Increased Flight Attendant Workload
    • Multiple Outlet types
    • Maintenance Issues
    • Higher Power Consumption
considerations for an ac system
Considerations for an AC System
  • Large Form Factor required to accommodate US and European plug Standards
  • More power consumption than DC systems
    • Potential 1KW Power savings with DC on B747-400
  • Increased Maintenance Costs (OU Complexity)
  • Perceived Safety Concerns
  • Increased Flight Attendant Workload
    • AC Power in-use lights
considerations for an ac system cont
Considerations for an AC System (cont.)
  • Current Customer Considerations
    • Backward compatibility with DC systems? (wiring)
    • Modification to existing systems
    • Multiple dissimilar systems on aircraft?
    • Outlet Unit location and installation issues
  • Certification
    • 15Vdc systems are certified and have been flying since July 1996
    • 110Vac is NOT FAA certified
  • Safety Considerations
    • Underwriter Labs (UL) Spec# 1950
      • 110Vac is a Hazardous Voltage
      • 15Vdc is Safety Extra Low Voltage
    • Power Cord Trip Hazards (typically 10 ft length)
    • Portable Electric Devices
      • Can you protect against intentional misuse?
what should an ac system have
What should an AC System have?
  • Should be Compatible with Existing Customer Installations
    • Seat Box should be compatible with:
      • Current MCU (Boeing) and EMCU (Airbus)
      • Existing Aircraft Cable Installations
  • System Level
    • Compliant with Draft JAA Policy
    • Compliant with Issued FAA Policy
    • Connectors (AB & Boeing approved)
  • Outlet Requirements
    • Should be a Small Form Factor
    • Should be Maintenance Friendly
    • At Least Continental Europe & US compatible
    • Minimum 75 Watts/Maximum 100 Watts
    • “Zero current detection”
    • Short Circuit Protection
    • GFI Protection at each output