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Introduction to the Project

With a staggering world population of 6.9 billion people, there are only 5.3 billion
global mobile cellular subscribers which represent 77% of the world population[1,2].
But only about 2 billion people globally actually have access to the internet which
represents 29% of the world population[3]. In 2009, the EU Parliament approved a
law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental human right[4]. Internet access was
deemed to be extremely connected to the Right to Information.
The need for telecommunication in remote areas where grid connection is
inaccessible, necessitates the use of renewable energy to power telecommunication
base stations. Hence the need to design an efficient and cost- effective power source
via renewable energy sources such as PV panels, Wind turbines, Hydropower, fuel
cells or a combination of these technologies.
In order to replace diesel powered telecommunication sites with the best
combination of off-grid renewable energy sources, we analysed the cooling
requirements and reduction of shelter insulation from industry set standards.
This project delved into two case studies, namely: India and Nigeria, both of which
have similar substandard power grid infrastructure and non-existing grid networks in
rural areas.

Project objectives:
 Determine the optimum combination of renewable system for tropical climates
 Identify the impact of climate on the telecommunication station site
 Analyze the economic benefits from implementing renewable energy
 Determine the environmental effect of application of the renewable energy sources in
the region

References used:

1. International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau available


at: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html
2. Global Mobile Statistics. Available at: http://mobithinking.com/stats-corner/
3. International World Statistics. Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
4. Beta News Article on EU Parliament approves law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental
right. Available at: http://www.betanews.com/article/EU-Parliament-approves-law-ensuring-
Internet-access-as-a-fundamental-right/1241651104

Base Transciever Station


The BTS is a telecoms infrastructure used to facilitate wireless communication between subsc
network. The subscriber device can be mobile phone, wireless internet devices while the oper
TDMA platform.
A typical BTS comprises of a Transceiver (TRX) which handles transmission and reception of
to or from higher network entities, a Combiner which Combines feeds from several TRXs so th
single antenna thus reducing the number of antennas that need be installed, a Power amplifie
TRX for transmission through the antenna, a Duplexer which is used for separating sending a
antenna and an Antenna which is an external part of the BTS.

The BTS equipment are usually housed in a shelter which protects the telecoms equipment fr
corrosion, rust, theft etc.

The shelter thus comprises of the BTS equipments already mentioned, an air conditioner whic
the heat generated by the equipment, a battery bank that supplies the equipment with electr

The energy demand of a telecommunication equipment differs according to its network specif
billion global cellular subscribers are on the GSM platform (Figure 2).
The temperature of the telecoms shelter during operation exceeds 55 degrees celsius which is
electronic equipment. This necessitates the need for an air conditioner especially in the tropic
25 degrees celsius in order to prolong the shelf life of both the BTS equipment and the batter

The relative humidity is also of prime concern and as such it is maintained below 60% to avo
equipment. In most cases, the air conditioner serves a dual function of cooling and dehumidif
acceptable humidity levels.

References used:

1. Solutions Paper: Alternative Power for Mobile Telephony Base Stations, Motorola Inc. 2007, p. 8 Ava

at: http://www.motorola.com/web/Business/Solutions/Technologies/WiMax/
2. Global Mobile Market Shares. Available at: http://www.3gamericas.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&

Methodology
The flow chart outlines the stages adopted for the project:

Our approach is also applicable to studies of renewable sources in a


temperate climate. In addition, off-grid renewable energy systems could
also be used to power other systems that work autonomously such as
remote weather monitoring stations and IT centers.
Case Study
With a staggering world population of 6.9billion people, there are only 5.3 billion global mobil
77% of the world population[1,2]. But only about 2 billion people globally actually have acces
of the world population[3].

In 2009, the EU Parliament approved a law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental human
to be extremely connected to the Right to Information

This means the rights of 71% of people in the world are being infringed upon. This alarming f
billion of mobile subscribers represent users in developing nations. It can be deduced that, th
technology as a result of poor fixed telephone lines and in most cases there is complete abse
with large population and sub standard telecommunication infrastructure.
With the developing nations also noted for poor or non-existing electrical power connection w
mobile cellular subscription is much higher than it is in developed nations.

Mobile operators in these developing nations power their base transceiver stations primarily w
reduced the profit the mobile operators would have made which could be used in the upgrade
purchase of generators and diesel fuel.

Hence, most of the mobile cellular subscribers in developing nations are urban dwellers, as th
afford the outrageous mobile subscription costs. This makes the acquisition of mobile commu
fetched dream.

MTN Nigeria, one of the four mobile telecoms operators in Nigeria with 4,798 base stations sp
almost every three years and $3.5 million monthly on diesel oil and generator maintenance[5
million annually. This figure unfortunately rises with global crude oil price.

With the prevalent high cost of desktop computers and laptops, the most cost effective way t
nations gain access to the vast array of opportunities the internet has to offer is via mobile ce
operators would need to change their source of power generation to a more cost effective tec
Hence power generation via Renewable sources would need to be considered in the most cos
affordable for rural dwellers.

In order to properly define suitable renewable energy sources for an off-grid telecoms station
simulate the operating conditions in the aforementioned developing nations. Each country con
telecommunication stations based on topology, climatic conditions and absence of electrical g

ESP-r software was used to to define the energy load by the cooling system of the shelter as
software was used to find the possible combination of renewable energy schemes for telecom
show the rate of battery charge and the economical analysis of adopting each energy resourc

References used:

1. International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau available at: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockwor


2. Global Mobile Statistics. Available at: http://mobithinking.com/stats-corner/
3. International World Statistics. Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
4. Beta News Article on EU Parliament approves law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental right. Available at:
access-as-a-fundamental-right/1241651104
5. IT News Africa Article on MTN Nigeria wants tough laws to safeguard telecoms industry. Available at: http://ww
industry/

Conclusion
With a population of 1.2 billion and 155 million in India and Nigeria and a rural population
of 870 million and 77.5 million respectively, the graph below shows the statistics of
mobile and internet users in both countries.
The graph helps to better understand the reality of communication hurdles rural dwellers
have to endure if the present mode of power generation by the mobile operators persists.
There is obviously a need for a change to alternative sources of power generation for the
telecoms industry.

Hence in this study the following were achieved:

1. Improved battery efficiency: This was achieved by using DC generators thereby avoiding
the use of converters which would have led to transmission and conversion losses.
2. Achieved a storage capacity for 6 days of autonomous operation: by using the Homer
software tool, an 8% discharge rate was achieved, which helps to provide uninterrupted
electrical energy for a period of 6 days. The current industry standard for most off grid
base station sites is three days.
3. Wind and solar power are viable alternatives to diesel energy generation in both Nigeria
and India with an all year round of renewable energy supply.
4. Achieved 47 metric tons of CO2 savings per BTS site.
In summary, if telecom operators are able to save on diesel fuel and diesel generator
purchase, they can upgrade their networks more often so as to offer better services at
more competitive and affordable prices which would encourage the rural dwellers to
realize their dreams of connecting to the world.