Ericsson, DT drive sustainable 5G radio site operations

Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson have completed a successful trial of Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network as they look to improve sustainability at live radio sites

German communications service provider Deutsche Telekom and telecommunications and ICT services provider Ericsson have completed a trial of Deutsche Telekom’s 5G-enabled network, which both companies claim could prompt major advances in sustainable mobile site operations with renewable energy. 

The joint Ericsson and DT initiative transformed a live radio site using a management solution to efficiently harness solar and wind energy while optimising power supply and demand.

The aim of the partnership is to identify and validate energy efficiency and energy cost cutting solutions based on optimised energy consumption and control and increased usage of renewable energy sources.

Heather Johnson, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, said: “At Ericsson, we are committed to working with our customers to support them in cutting their carbon emissions. This partnership is a great example of how we’re achieving this through our best-in-class energy efficient equipment, which can be operated entirely with renewable energy.”

Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom add wind turbine to test site as a second power source

Ericsson claims that the site, which is located in the Bavarian municipality of Dittenheim near Munich, has been part-powered by energy from solar panels since the initiative began more than a year ago. The site currently has 12 sqm of solar modules. In addition, the two companies have added a wind turbine, capable of providing up to five kilowatts of additional power, as a second renewable energy power source.

The resulting simultaneous integration of the two renewable energy sources – made possible by the Ericsson Power System (a new Ericsson energy management system) – means the site can theoretically be operated on a stand-alone basis without utilising its cable connection to the electrical power grid. As long as weather conditions support the use of the renewable capabilities, the solution can make a major contribution to powering the site.

Leif Heitzer, SVP Technology Guidance and Economics at Deutsche Telekom, said: “Ensuring an integrated management of clean, efficient and reliable power sources and usage is key for sustainable mobile site operations. Together with innovative partners we explore in trials how we can apply intelligent solutions and capabilities to optimise energy consumption and control at mobile sites.”

Initial tests showed that on windy days, more renewable energy could be generated than was consumed by site operations. The control of the energy sources includes various functions for hazard prevention as well as automation. For example, in the event of a malfunction, the wind turbine can be automatically deactivated to prevent uncontrolled operation.

The next project phase will see the development of additional functions for the efficient use of generated energy and storage capacities. In the near future, the integration of additional energy sources such as fuel cells will replace the need for diesel generators, which are currently kept in reserve for emergencies.

Image: Ericsson


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