When I think of the off grid solar applications, one main sector that has tremendous captive power requirement is telecommunications. With consistent fall in the average revenue per user and a whopping 86% increase in the minutes of usage in the past decade, India is one of the countries with increasing market
competitionand highest number of MoU’s. The numbers of operators have almost tripled in the last 3 years and there is a mad headed competition to reduce
the cost especially if theservices have to be made affordable to the sub urban and rural areas. Rural teledensity improvement is possible only with low cost
With power contributing to 25% of total network cost, one of the key areas where the telecom providers are looking forward to reduce cost is energy. Unfortunately,
poor quality of grid supply in suburban and semi-rural areas and no grid supply at many rural areas is increasing the energy cost for the telecom providers. 10% of
telecom towers in India have no power supply while almost 50% have less than 12 hours of grid supply. Even in those 12 hours of grid supply there are problems
of low voltage, single phasing and fluctuations that necessitate the use of diesel genset round the clock. The increasing energy cost, uncertain grid power and
lower affordability of rural people is having a double warming effect to the telecom service providers.
According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Close to 300000 towers in India consume more than 2 billion liters of Diesel every year generating 5.4
millionTons of CO2. The increasing diesel prices and the mounting pressure of minimizingcarbon offset makes diesel based captive power a less viable option in
long run. Solar PV based captive power would be the ideal solution for the telecom service providers. They have many advantages that would favor them for
incorporating solar energy to power their towers.
Huge energy savings are possible by use of Solar Diesel hybrid (65% savings) as compared to relatively less savings by use of biomass power (29% savings).
Also there is a possible 40% reduction in site maintenance expenditure for the companies who install solar as compared to the use of diesel genset. With the
use of batteries it is even possible to power the towers during the night time and effective diesel usage hours can be reduced to as low as 8 hours per day.
The huge existing tower base that require captive power and further network expansion by service providers who promise to offer seamless network coverage
makes it easy for solar to penetrate into the telecom industry very soon. Most of the towers that need off grid power are located at a place where there are no
space limitations and this makes solar PV as an ideal choice. Also, network uptime can be managed in difficult hilly and terrain regions with the use of solar power.
The telecom towers are also expected to scale up by another one lakh next year and it is important to note that the newer telephone towers are being installed
based on a new technology that will consume less power and also do away with the air conditioning so critical to the telephone towers. For the newer towers, where
air conditioning is not a requisite, it makes more sense to use solar power, especially where the EB electricity is not available for considerable duration
The 5% soft loan and 30% capital subsidy would obviously attract telecom service providers to opt solar power. Also, 90% capital subsidy by NSM in remote areas
& special category states and Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation’s funding for the use of renewable energy in remote areas will increase the market
adoption of solar for telecommunication industry.
Captive solar is possibly the best way to increase rural footprint of telecom service providers at an affordable cost, thereby improving the rural community access to
communication. Certain telecom service providers have realized this and initiatives have been planned for no grid and poor grid regions. If successful proof of concept
is available and telecom service providers are able to reduce the network operation cost, it will increase the market penetration of solar PV for captive power in the
SOROTEC is committed to the communications industry for decades and has a complete and efficient solar base station solution. Provide users with reliable power
protection, while greatly improving the return on investment of users.
SOROTEC Solar powered telecom base station (BTS)-SHW48500
the monitor module and PV MPPT module, wind power module, rectifier module, distribution frame (or cabinet) composed of communication power supply system,
power supply system to achieve the man-machine interface operation, system status monitoring, data upload, intelligent battery management module and automatic
energy saving management. SHW48500 monitoring module provides RS232/RS485, network port, dry contact and many other communication interfaces. It is flexible
in networking and can realize remote monitoring and widely used in 4G& 5G telecom base station(BTS).