Shell Aviation Introduces Industry-First Electric Pump Jet Refueller
Shell Aviation announces the introduction of a first-of-its-kind, electric pump jet refuelling vehicle in its operations at Stuttgart Airport, Germany. The vehicle significantly reduces diesel consumption during aircraft refuelling, supporting airports in their efforts to reduce emissions across their operations. This refueller is a part of Shell Aviation’s commitment to develop innovative technologies that deliver benefits across airport operations globally.
“The electric pump jet refueller system is an example of the spirit of innovation we bring to our customers, working with airports and airlines to provide solutions to the operational challenges they face,” says Anne Anderson, vice president, Shell Aviation. “We are excited about the potential for electric pump jet refuellers to help reduce the carbon footprint of airports. We are hopeful that this pilot program at Stuttgart Airport will prove successful and these vehicles will have an important role to play in airports of the future.”
The 20,000-liter refueller features a fully electric fuelling system and pressure control, enabling a significant reduction in diesel consumption when compared to conventional refuellers which use the diesel engine to power refuelling. The new refueller uses its diesel engine solely for moving around the apron, switching it off while refuelling takes place. Following extensive trials, the refueller is currently being piloted with the support of Stuttgart Airport. It is anticipated that the refueller will deliver a reduction in diesel consumption of 2,200 liters during the course of the pilot, compared to a conventional refuelling vehicle (see note).
The introduction of the refueller saw Shell Aviation working with Esterer, a manufacturer of aircraft refuellers. Developed by Esterer with input from Shell Aviation, the electric refuelling system allows the vehicle’s diesel engine to be switched off during refuelling, reducing CO2 emissions at the point of use by lowering diesel consumption. Noise and particulate emissions on the aircraft stand are also reduced, due to the diesel engine running for less time compared to a conventional refueller.
“With more than 40 years of experience and a long-term partnership with Shell Aviation, we at Esterer are very proud of this development which introduces the worldwide first electrical refuelling system,” says Julia Esterer, managing director and owner of Esterer. “Reducing emissions from ground operations is a priority for the aviation industry, and this technology will help deliver significant benefits in terms of reducing fumes and noise emissions.”
Walter Schoefer, management spokesman of Stuttgart Airport, says, “Reducing the carbon footprint of our airport operations by electrifying ramp equipment is a priority for our business. Innovative technologies such as this have potential to deliver significant emissions savings across our refuelling processes. We are pleased to be partnering with Shell Aviation on this pilot and look forward to seeing the results.”
Following the pilot of the electric pump refueller at Stuttgart Airport, Shell Aviation will assess opportunities to deploy the technology across its extensive refuelling network.
Note: Based on historic vehicle utilization data for Stuttgart Airport, the 20,000-liter electric pump refueller is expected to deliver a saving of 2,200 liters of diesel over the course of the 12-month pilot when compared to a conventional refueller.