Note: Fourth in a series on Energy Solutions.


Consumers are relying more on their wireless service more than ever. In fact, the majority of global subscribers use their cell phone as their only device for telecommunication. So, it is more important than ever for the wireless operators to provide uninterrupted service to the subscribers.

One way to keep wireless service up and running is by having a reliable backup power source. It is estimated that by 2013, wireless operators worldwide will spend about $22 billion to operate their networks. Can you believe almost half of that will be on power generation? This increase in energy consumption and power generation also leads to increased carbon dioxide emissions (i.e., truck rolls and diesel-powered backup generators).

Most cell sites have batteries, providing short-term power backup. Many batteries are suplemented with a diesel generator, providing backup power for extend power outages. Batteries must be kept at approximately 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) to ensure optimal life and performance using air conditioning units or other means of active cooling. The cooling, charging and maintenance costs associated with batteries are substantial. Let’s not forget that batteries also deteriorate, so they must be replaced on a regular basis. Since most telecom networks use lead-acid batteries, their manufacturing process and the eventual disposal also have environmental consequences.

Diesel generators have three strikes against them:

  • constant maintenance

  • use fossil fuels (have you seen the price of diesel fuel lately?)

  • create noise and environmental pollution

What if there was a way to provide backup power to a cell site that is clean and reliable? Your question has been answered because CommScope developed a hydrogen poweredfuel cell solution for just that purpose. It provides power backup to a site, eliminating all the negatives associated with the batteries and diesel generators. The solution:

  • meets the most stringent environmental standards and protects the electronic equipment from the outside environment through the use of an efficient cooling techniques

  • provides the option to fully integrate the primary power and any necessary electronic equipment before being shipped to a cell site—reducing the site construction costs and startup time

  • lowers overall maintenance costs and provides greater flexibility in scheduling and shipping of fuel cells to sites

  • no deterioration of the unit when not in use

  • reduces maintenance when compared to competing technologies

  • use less real estate resulting in lower site leasing expenses

The CommScope hydrogen fuel cell solution has been installed in various configurations at several locations around the world, testing the operational reliability and durability of the system in different climate conditions with varying quality of power grids. These deployments have ranged from outdoor and indoor wireless cell sites to wireline huts and shelters in Asia, Europe and North America.


Have you considered deploying a fuel cell at your cell site?




About the Author


Anil K. Trehan is Vice-president of Energy Solutions, for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. In this position, he is responsible for development of new energy products and solutions for the telecommunications carrier market, including wireless and wireline service providers. Mr. Trehan has presented on energy savings solutions at various international conferences and trade shows. He has four patents and eight patent pending applications to his credit. In his 25 years of work experience, he has held several technical management and engineering positions at Avaya, Lucent Technologies, AT&T – Bell Labs, and General Electric. Mr. Trehan has a masters and bachelors degree in Engineering.

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2 comments for "Say No To Inefficient, Energy-Wasting, Carbon Dioxide-Emitting Backup Power Equipment"
Zach Ball

Big diesel machines are leaving a major foot print on the environment. I look forward to the day when less impacting solutions are offered like the one in this post. Thanks for posting

backup power

There are various kinds of backup power equipments, which can be used at the time of power failure. But consider avoiding such equipments, which provide less back up and are giving out large amount of carbon di-oxide.

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