7 Steps to designing an optimal battery-based solution to reduce diesel costs of telecom towers
By D Shah and R Kuberkar, Schneider Electric
Electricity+Control, December 2015 (pages 4 – 7)
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Telecom tower companies (TowerCos) located in regions where the grid is unreliable or non existent depend on diesel generators as their primary source of power. In recent years the costs associated with diesel generation have increased significantly. The price of diesel almost doubled in the past decade and refuelling and maintaining generators (diesel generators frequently break down) in remote sites is expensive. Diesel theft is also a problem. The costs associated with running diesel generators for long hours every day at telecom tower sites can be more than 20% of the total revenue of such companies. Furthermore, diesel generators are noisy and carry a high carbon footprint.
To address these issues, a growing number of TowerCos are adopting battery-based solutions ‒ including the integration of solar energy ‒ to power telecom towers at remote sites. There is no universal ‘one size fits all’ design. Each site has unique challenges (environmental conditions, load profile, number of generators, monitoring needs), which call for different solutions.
- Running a remote site on diesel alone is not a cost effective solution.
- Battery-based site solutions offer significant benefits.
- Solar supply is easily incorporated into a battery-based solution.