Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT)
Meet the BATT, the world's most advanced aviation tank
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About the BATT
With so many operations located in remote areas with little infrastructure, understandably, fuel supply is a serious business and one of the many reasons why the BATT has quickly become an aviation favorite.
The creation of the Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT), winner of four technology awards, actually began as a persistent customer request. SEI was asked to produce a collapsible tank that could fit inside an aircraft and carry bulk fuel. SEI was already an expert manufacturer of collapsible fuel storage tanks that sat on the ground but this new tank could be subjected to strong G-forces. It had to be able to withstand any maneuver thrown at it and it would have to be custom-built for each aircraft type.
After overcoming a number of engineering hurdles, SEI’s BATT was launched in 2011 with the first tanks being delivered to the very client who had initially suggested the product. From there, it wasn’t long before word of the new tank’s capabilities spread amongst air carriers in Canada’s north and, with Transport Canada approval, many quickly purchased the BATT, installed it and had it airborne all over the country.
Thanks to the stunningly fast adoption by other carriers around the globe, today, BATTs are in use across five continents including North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. From single Otter aircraft to the much larger Boeing 737, the BATT is now available in 20 different sizes with more being developed.
Embraced by remote operators, the BATT offers the unique ability to carry bulk fuel in and, after being emptied, the collapsible tank can be rolled up so that other cargo can be hauled back out, allowing a substantial savings in fuel hauling costs.
Recently, SEI unveiled its new Aviation Pump Cart as a teammate to the BATT. Designed for remote airport locations, the Aviation Pump Cart allows one person to easily move the pump and its hoses over rough terrain to refill an aircraft quickly from a portable fuel tank or directly from the BATT.
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.
- Skies magazine: Cargo North’s turbine aircraft coupled with SEI’s BATT make a unique combo
- International Mining magazine: New approach reduces reliance on diesel and saves big
- GOMC magazine: Collapsible fuel tank maximizes air cargo space
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.
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.”
- Arctic King
- Custom Fuel Pump Systems
- Desert King
- Fuel Tank Monitoring
- Hazmat Tank
- Insta-Berm (Frame)
- Insta-Berm (L-Rod)
- Jungle King
- Litre Hosen, Heli-Pump, Slimline
- Onion Tank
- Ride-Side Berm
- Terra Tank (Fuel)
- Terra Tank (Water and Chemical)