Networks Europe March/April 2019 - Page 46

46 GOING GREEN A solar energy installation can provide reliable power supply while reducing the operational cost and maintenance. Solar power has become even more viable since the technology costs keep decreasing and the amount of power that the base station needs is reduced If DC servers are used, it might be possible to use DC power generated by the panels directly with batteries for storage when required, without the use of an inverter from DC to AC. This would reduce the initial and maintenance cost of the PV system and conversion losses. In past years, the telecommunications sector has shown an increased interest in the use of solar technology to generate power for base stations as an alternative to diesel generators in rural sites where there’s no electricity grid connection. A telecom base station is a wireless communication station that comprises several antennas mounted on a metallic tower and a house of electronics at the base. The average base station can use between 1-6kW. There are about seven million base stations worldwide (Mobile world live blog, Sept 2017). Many of which are built in remote and difficult to reach areas with limited access to the grid. For stations localised in many developing countries, even in areas that are connected to the grid, the power supply can be unstable and expensive. In these cases, the stations rely on diesel generators, which require regular maintenance, are expensive to run and cause pollution. A solar energy installation can provide reliable power supply while reducing the operational cost and maintenance. Solar power has become even more viable since the technology costs keep decreasing and the amount of power that the base station needs is reduced. There are several types of designs for PV systems and all of them can be used in telecom stations: Grid-connected systems These PV systems operate in parallel with the utility grid and supply any excess power they might produce to the grid. They’re the most common for domestic PV www.networkseuropemagazine.com