US Navy goes “Green on the Ground” with 10 new Hobart Frequency Converters

Pt. Mugu Frequency Converter Installation

Hobart PoWerMaster ADV 180KVA Ground Power Units on Pad 4

On April 16, 2014, MCP completed the commissioning of ten new Hobart Ground Power Units at Airborne Command Control & Logistics Wing, Point Mugu Naval Air Station. The purpose of this project was to replace the existing 400hz power converters on the ramp with the latest in current technology. This last installation completes the population of the entire Flight Line Electrical Distribution System (FLEDS) with state-of-the art Hobart frequency converters.
Seven new converters were installed on the ramp and three were installed in the hangar completing a 6 year long project that was originally spearheaded by Ms. Stephanie Tagliaferri of Naval Industrial Services Support. These units will provide energy efficient, high quality power to E-2C and E-2D Hawkeye Aircraft, including other military and commercial aircraft with 400hz power requirements.

Among the many new benefits of this installation:

Higher energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse emissions – Hobart solid state frequency converters convert 60Hz “Shore Power” to 400Hz aircraft power by using sophisticated solid state electronics, rather than older rotary motor generators or diesel gensets. And since there is no diesel engine involved, there are no greenhouse emissions or particulates to contaminate the air. And with the high energy efficiency of these power units, energy costs are reduced significantly. Noise levels are reduced significantly as well.

New Safety Features – These new units also incorporate a new second generation military cable interlock system which senses the power cable attachment to the aircraft. If the power cable is not properly inserted into the aircraft power receptacle, the Hobart unit will not deliver power. And, if a power cord is removed while the aircraft is energized, the unit de-energizes automatically and the cable is “dead” even before the plug is pulled completely out of the aircraft. This eliminates any shock hazard to the ramp operator. Therefore, the interlock circuitry prevents “hot“ power conductors to be exposed near hands, aircraft, fuel vapors or GSE.

One Man Operation – Now, the operator can insert the power cables into the aircraft and merely press the “on” button at the Hobart control panel. No longer are two operators required to energize the aircraft, nor will there be time lost through miscommunications between GSE personnel.

Project Installation:

After the converters were installed by the local electrical contractor, MCP arrived to complete installation of the new cable interlock kits, tested each converter and conducted training classes.

Pt. Mugu LoadTestingCalibration of the Frequency Converters

Calibration and Load Testing

Testing – MCP used portable load banks to fully test each power unit prior to actual aircraft use. Doing so ensures that we have the best power quality at each and every aircraft location. Each converter and cable were calibrated for proper voltage under full operating load and also tested for proper safety interlock operation.


Training: “Just plug in the cables, press the ‘On’ button!”

Training – MCP Personnel conducted three training sessions on April 16, emphasizing the ease of use and safety factors of these new systems.

Pt. Mugu AircraftVertical ADV Installed

Silent ,energy efficient, small footprint, no greenhouse emissions


The incredible teamwork between MCP, Pueblo Construction, Tony Carlos Construction and Naval Industrial Services Support helped make the project a reality, with few glitches and quick installation times.

With the addition of these new Hobart GPU’s, several goals were accomplished:

  • Operator Safety
  • Smaller Footprint
  • Zero Air and Noise pollution
  • Lower Energy Costs

Future Plans – There are also plans to retrofit the older Hobart units installed several years ago with the new cabling interlock system, providing a consistent and safe operational method for the operators on the ramp.

About MCP: Mark C. Pope Associates, Inc. has been a full service Hobart Ground Power Dealer since 1966. MCP offers new, used and rental Hobart Ground Power units and operates a full service operation from its Atlanta area facility. To date, MCP has sold and serviced over 8,000 military and commercial power units nationwide and still supports Hobart legacy equipment produced over the last 50 plus years. Hobart technology is renowned worldwide for its reliability, ease of use and quality.

For further information, contact Scott O’Connell via eMail,

Written by Scott O'Connell

About the Author

Scott has been with MCP for over 30 years and has spent the majority of that time contributing in, and then managing the Ground Power division of the company. Scott's hobbies include programming and database management and he has developed and maintained the company's customer relationship management program.