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Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson partner on renewable energy for mobile sites

Christian Fernsby |
In a German village about 100 miles north of Munich, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson are pioneering the use of solar energy for mobile broadband sites.

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The use of renewable energy is increasing in sectors across Germany, but solar modules have not yet been used to power commercial mobile broadband sites. Through the joint initiative, the two companies want to show that independent energy supply for mobile phone sites with solar power is possible.

As part of the project, small solar modules – with a total surface area of about 12 m2 (129 ft2) - were erected at a Deutsche Telekom mobile site in Dittenheim. The Ericsson Power System is handling maximum power point tracking (MPP) as well as the necessary voltage conversion.

The solution also includes integration of the solar solutions into the same management system that also controls the Radio Access Network (RAN).

The tests, carried out in the second half of 2020, showed that solar energy is able to contribute to more than two-thirds of the site's total power during peak hours. Depending on the solar irradiation and technology configuration, larger shares, including up to fully autonomous power supply, where are also observed. This is thanks to the energy-efficient radio equipment.

The project confirms the potential of solar energy as an alternative power source for mobile sites and opens up for other renewable power sources.

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