Energy conservation initiative supports global efforts in reducing power consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs.
“There’s no doubt that advanced technology and communications have impacted the way people live, work and play,” said Anil Trehan, vice president, Energy Solutions, CommScope. “As the demand for better, faster services increases, the industry must also focus on how to reduce its network power and fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse emissions, operating costs and capital expenditures. Taking all these factors into consideration, CommScope’s new initiative helps wireless operators lower their energy costs and provides them with an innovative and reliable way of powering cell sites. It also helps operators lessen their impact on the environment.”
It is estimated that the operation of telecommunications networks is responsible for 0.5 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. With the wireless industry’s heightened awareness of their networks’ environmental impact, operators are seeking ways to rapidly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are being blamed as one of the potential causes of global climate change. This is why many operators have set goals to reduce their energy consumption by approximately 25 percent within the next 10 years.
“By partnering with CommScope, wireless operators have the ability to save an average of $5,000 per site, per year on energy consumption,” Trehan said. “In a 100-site network, that is an annual savings of $500,000. With more than one million cell sites around the world, operators can make significant reductions to their energy costs.”
To achieve many of these “green” goals, wireless operators can invest in clean and reliable backup power generators, remote shelter monitoring, amplifier upgrades, shelter cooling and hybrid cooling systems through CommScope’s new initiative.
Backup power solution
Backup generators at cell sites are commonly powered by diesel fuel, and its exhaust contains greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. As fossil fuel prices continue to rise, telecommunication companies are searching for an alternative to diesel-powered generators that are more reliable and have less of an impact on the environment. By deploying a hydrogen fuel cell power solution from CommScope, operators can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption at cell sites. Unlike diesel generators that emit greenhouse gases, the only by-products of hydrogen fuel cells are heat and water. With four fuel cell backup solutions available (5-, 8-, 10- and 16-kilowatts), operators no longer require diesel generators to provide backup power, thereby reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. In addition to having a clean, reliable and stable power source, operators can also reduce the amount of truck rolls dispatched to a cell site for repairs and diesel fuel delivery. In most cases, the base electronics can also be integrated inside the fuel cell cabinet, which further reduces capital and operational costs of a site.
Surveillance systems can be used to monitor security at cell cites. Operators now have an easier way to remotely monitor security, the temperature inside a shelter, fuel levels and other vital parameters using one solution. This intelligent remote site management system can determine false alarms, and raise and lower a shelter’s temperature from one single location. By adopting the OneBase InSite Connect solution from CommScope, operators now have the flexibility to monitor and perform certain repairs and maintenance from a remote location. The solution can also be used to change the electrical tilt on a base station antenna to dynamically adjust the antenna coverage remotely. This simple change to a company’s day-to-day operations can also save money on truck rolls, fuel costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Wireless operators typically save approximately $3,500 per site, per year on energy costs by using a remote monitoring solution.
Multi-carrier power amplifiers for integrated BTS applications
In markets where wireless subscriptions are increasing at a rapid pace, stronger amplifiers are needed to provide better coverage. Wireless operators can upgrade their base stations and provide better coverage while at the same time using less power. Compared to traditional technology for power amplification when upgrading a cellular site, operators who use Multi-Carrier Power Amplifiers for Integrated BTS Applications can reduce their overall cell site power load by as much as 20 to 30 percent. This alternative provides operators with a cost competitive solution and maintains stringent, system-level performance criteria without effecting wireless coverage.
Base station electronics housed in shelters are typically cooled with air-conditioning units, which consume considerable electricity to provide the ideal environment inside the shelter. Installations of CommScope’s free-air cooling solutions have shown a reduction of approximately 25 percent in overall power consumption in a variety of climates. By partnering with CommScope to design the proper free-air cooling system for a shelter—using either two or four DC powered fans—operators can also choose filter specifications that meet their desired standard for air quality. If a hydrogen fuel cell is installed at the site, neither the site nor the cooling system will lose power during any event of a grid power outage.
Hybrid cooling solution
While in operation, all electronics produce waste heat. To keep the electronics operational, they must be cooled. A direct air/heat exchanger, designed with variable speed fans, consume less power than existing air-conditioning cabinets while providing sufficient electronics and battery cooling. Operators can protect their equipment by working with CommScope to devise a hybrid cooling solution that reduces a site’s cooling costs by approximately 85 percent when compared to traditional enclosure air conditioning.