» Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT)

Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT)

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Meet the BATT, the world's most advanced collapsible aviation tank 

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About the BATT
What's new: Are you a fan of the TV series Ice Pilots?  In episode 5 of season 5, you can watch the BATT in action on Buffalo Airways' Electra aircraft.  Buffalo Airways purchased two BATTs for use in hauling bulk fuel to various remote locations.  With two BATTs, they are able to use the Electra's entire hauling capacity in the most cost-effective way possible, transporting a total of 4,200 USG (15,900 L) of fuel per trip.  In this episode, Buffalo Airways staff install and use the BATT for the first time, saying it's "cool" and giving it a positive thumbs up assessment!  
Thanks, Buffalo!  We love you, too.
Update: The BATT has won four awards to date — an international outstanding achievement award (technical category), an honours program award  (industrial applications category) and a regional and national award for innovative new technology.
When there’s no gas station in sight for hundreds of miles, fuel supply becomes a critical aspect for the military and many other industries including mining, construction, aviation, resource exploration and forest firefighting.  It’s why SEI Industries developed its new Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT) – the world’s first collapsible, double-walled, baffled transportation tank that allows users to safely carry bulk fuel to remote sites via aircraft.
Regulators consider the BATT to be cargo "packaging" that is tied down to the aircraft using existing tie-down points.  The BATT comes in a range of sizes to fit various aircraft. Currently, the DC-3 (1150 USG), MIL-17 (1150 USG), Cessna Caravan (475 USG), AN26 (1800 USG), AN32 (1800 USG) and Twin Otter (630 USG) models are available. Future sizes will accommodate the DC-6, Bell 412 and Hercules aircraft.
The BATT took a number of months to develop and was first deployed in 2010 for use by South America’s Colombian law enforcement.  With the official Canadian launch of the BATT in the summer of 2011, operators can now deploy an innovative new option for bulk fuel transportation to remote sites.
BATT wins third award for innovative technology
News Articles
Watch a video of the BATT being flight-tested in a Twin Otter aircraft. 
Watch a video of the BATT being flight-tested in a Caravan aircraft.
On-Site Fuel Storage Options
Once the fuel supply arrives on-site, SEI also provides an exceptional option for storing it.  SEI’s Arctic King, Desert King and Jungle King collapsible fuel bladder tanks are ideal for transferring fuel from the BATT to static fuel storage tanks on the ground.  These tanks fold up for easy transport to remote sites by aircraft and are available in sizes from 2000 L to 100,000 L. 
Constructed from a proprietary high-durability fabric unique to SEI Industries, the Arctic King has excellent UV and hydrolysis resistance qualities for a longer life expectancy than any other urethane collapsible fabric tank.  With all these features plus its vent system to handle deep snowfalls, the Arctic King can withstand even the most extreme conditions.
What Customers Say
"The BATT system has enabled us to improve our aircraft efficiency and utilization which has accelerated the return on investment.  The BATT offers flexibility to our clients which helps to keep operational costs down.  The bulk movement of diesel fuel in the BATT is more cost effective than the transport, handling and the ultimate disposal of fuel drums."
— Hugh Kitchen, President of Alkan Air
“Buffalo Airways successfully completed 46 ice airstrip fuel deliveries using two BATT 2100 gallon tanks.  The BATT tanks performed flawlessly and the Lockheed Electra installation is extremely easy to switch between cargo and tanker, ultimately making the BATT system our first choice for heavy lift fuel into the far north.”
— Rod McBryan, director of maintenance for Buffalo Airways
“We’re delighted to be the first jet operator to use this new technology which provides a substantial advantage to our many valued clients in the north and across Canada.  The speed at which our 737 jet travels, along with its payload capability of up to 4200 gallons of fuel, allows customers to achieve new savings over the aircraft types that have been traditionally used to deliver bulk fuel.  This literally gives us the capability to deliver fuel to the top of the world, if needed, but mostly will allow mining and exploration customers a more cost-effective option with significant savings on their fuel delivery costs.”
— David Morgan, director of charter operations for Nolinor Aviation
“With the removable BATT, we can fly freight during the day and then install the BATT inside the fuselage to fly fuel at night.  In total, it only takes 30 minutes to install the BATT, fill it and be ready to fly.  Compared to moving drums of fuel, our pilots love the BATT.  It’s far more convenient…just hook up a pump to load or off-load.  It’s the modern way of hauling fuel and far better for the environment.”
— Greg Bourdignon, vice-president of operations for Cargo North
Licenced in Canada and the United States
In the past, only fuel drums were allowed to transport fuel without special permits.  Today, SEI is proud to be the first company to receive a Transportation of Dangerous Goods Equivalency Certificate (SA 10638) from Transport Canada allowing the BATT to be used without special permits for the transportation of fuels.
This certificate states that the BATT is limited to supplying fuel to areas with remote access or where other transportation options are not readily available or practical.  The certificate also states that the fuel must be loaded into a flexible tank that meets all the specifications of the BATT as manufactured by SEI Industries.  View the Transport Canada certificate.
To date, the BATT has been approved to carry the following fuel types:
  • Diesel Fuel Class 3 UN1202, Packing Group III
  • Aviation Fuel Class 3 UN 1863 Packing Group III
Recently, the BATT was also approved by the FAA in the United States — an exciting development for a product that is revolutionizing the way bulk fuel is delivered around the world.  In the USA, the BATT is approved via special permits by PHMSA.
Advanced Construction
Why is a double-walled tank preferred for aviation transport?  Typically, single-walled tanks do not have a strapping system built onto the tank and rely on cargo nets or external straps which can shift or can't be fully tightened.
The unique double-walled design of the BATT incorporates a strapping system to secure the tank to the aircraft.  This allows for minor shifting of the inner tank during flight operations which ensures that the inner tank does not develop small micro tears along the seams which can eventually cause tank failure.  It also allows the tank to be more evenly secured to the aircraft because the strapping can't shift on the outer tank.
The outer tank of the BATT is made from 32 oz OBU urethane fabric.  This fabric is typically used in oil boom containment and SEI’s Type 1 helicopter Bambi Buckets that are in constant movement.  It is designed to be resistant to hydrocarbons, abrasion and puncture.  The inner tank is designed specifically to be in constant contact with hydrocarbons and is made from proprietary fabric that exceeds military specification MIL-T-52983G.
  • Economic Savings
    • The BATT allows quick reconfiguration of the aircraft from hauling cargo to hauling bulk fuel.  Mixed loads are also possible.
    • The BATT also allows operators to purchase and transport bulk fuel while fully maximizing the aircraft’s lifting capacity since the tanks fill the fuselage area correctly and are lightweight (compared to drums or steel tanks). 
    • Dead head flights (with no cargo or passengers) are minimized because the BATT can be folded up and stored when not in use.
    • The BATT eliminates damage to the aircraft caused when handling fuel drums, reduces the cost of fuel loss for fuel spoiled in drums and provides a cost savings to operators who continually lose money because they cannot return damaged drums. 
  • Increased Safety
    • The BATT comes in a range of sizes to fit various aircraft.  A built-in strapping system insures that the payload doesn't shift unlike drums which are not specifically designed for aircraft interiors.
    • The BATT eliminates the continued handling of drums which can result in damage and spills inside the aircraft.  The BATT is double-walled to minimize abrasion and puncture damage and provides built-in secondary containment. 
    • The BATT has two unique baffle designs, one for fixed wing and one for rotary wing aircraft to control center of gravity shifting in flight.
  • Environmental Impact
    • The BATT allows remote site operators to eliminate empty drums which are often abandoned because of the high cost associated with removing them.  This prevents environmental impacts in remote and, often, sensitive locations.
    • Fewer drums means fewer spills due to handling.
    • The BATT is the next step in SEI’s revolution to “Kick The Can."
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