A cellular network is a network of handheld mobile phones (cell phones) in which each phone communicates with the telephone network by radio waves through a local antenna at a cellular base station (cell site).
Energy efficiency (EE) challenges are a way for individuals, businesses, and communities to measure their energy use and make changes to reduce their consumption by AI supported software solutions such as SYNERGY. Cell sites, EE are a great way to get started on the path towards sustainability.
What Components are in a Cell Site?
- Physical space.
- Heating or air conditioning (or both, depending on climate)
- Free cooling
- Equipment (antennas, transceiver, etc.)
- AC Power.
- DC rectifier
- Battery Backup power.
- UPS (optional and depends on…)
- Disel generator Backup power
- Solar enegy (PV) Backup power (optional but necessay for sustanability)
- Microwave radio (when no other media is exisites)
- Telephone lines (generally fiber)
- Fire protection.
- Many sensores (Thermostat, humidity, flood vibration, door, etc.)
- Camera system (optional…)
- Smart power meter
Base stations can be really demanding on their cooling systems. This is because they must work constantly to provide telecom services 24 hours a day, every day of the week. This generates a lot of heat in the process and makes it difficult for any cooling system to do its job well. Cooling systems should protect y telecommunications cabinets as they are critical to the function of cell site energy storage systems, and back-up battery systems.
These expensive compressor-based air conditioners are constantly running throughout the year, consuming large amounts of energy. Base station or cell sites are cooled needlessly with these expensive compressor-based air conditioners.
Remotely cell site power and peripherals monitoring, and control of the cooling system is vital to ensure the working condition of the equipments distributed in different cell cites. When the main power to a cellular cell site goes out, emergency batteries provide power for a limited time. Battery back-up systems are susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures or when exposed to very cold temperatures. Cooling below ambient is necessary to extend the life of back-up batteries, and temperature stabilization is required to maintain peak performance. Also, remote measurement and battery testing such as charged and discharged times (these tests must do at least twice year for all cell sites which needs a lot of manpower effort, time, and a lot of site visit around the country). On the other hand, changing the thermostats settings on free cooling again according to the seasons and even adjusting the air conditioner and Free Cooling according to the daily weather conditions is a must. Many base stations and cell sites are found in isolated locations that can be difficult to quickly access and repair. Another requirement for a cooling system in base stations and cell site is humidity control. Dry air can lead to static electricity which will gradually destroy the electronics and wiring in the equipment. That’s why humidity levels need to also be controlled alongside temperature levels. We have not mentioned yet the combination of generators, AC power, battery backup, and PV, etc.
As a result, long-life operation is required in wireless/cellular base station and cell site applications to maximize uptime and maintain low cost of ownership. This leads to Electirical Efficiency (EE) as well as fuel efficiency toward sustainability.