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  • The GCU is the main computer that controls alternator functions. The BPCU is the computer that controls the distribution of AC power to the power distribution buses located throughout the aircraft.
  •  There is typically one GCU used to monitor and control each AC alternator, and there can be one or more BPCUs on the aircraft. BPC is described later in this chapter; however, please note that the BPCU works in conjunction with the GCUs to control AC on modern aircraft.
  •  A typical GCU ensures the AC alternator maintains a constant voltage, typically between 115 to 120 volts. The GCU ensures the maximum power output of the alternator is never exceeded.
  •   The GCU provides fault detection and circuit protection in the event of an alternator failure. The GCU monitors AC frequency and ensures the output if the alternator remains 400 Hz.
  •  The basic method of voltage regulation is similar to that found in all alternator systems; the output of the alternator is controlled by changing the strength of a magnetic field, the GCU controls the exciter field magnetism within the brushless alternator to control the alternator output voltage. The frequency is controlled by the CDS hydraulic unit in conjunction with signals monitored by the GCU.

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