There is a lot of pressure on mobile telecommunications network equipment, as it is expected to work without issue 24/7. There is no compromise on this, which is why transmission equipment, BTS systems and RF equipment, are designed, tested and built for operation in the most demanding of environmental conditions. Srikanth Murugan, Global Director Sales Engineering at Flexenclosure discusses what approaches can be taken and what problems you may face with mobile telecommunications.
This is especially important in the developing world where the weather – particularly heat and humidity – can be extremely hazardous for highly sensitive electrical equipment. Why is it then that power systems for telecom sites are not similarly ruggedised and need to be housed in a shelter or cabinet of some kind?
The honest answer to this is that none of the power system vendors wanted to rethink the way their solutions were designed and built. It was easier to simply take componentry that was originally designed for indoor use, put it into a box and hope that it would cope reasonably well in these extreme conditions.
There are a number of significant problems with this approach though:
Thinking out of the box
It’s clear that putting indoor power components into a box and expecting sustained performance in extreme outdoor environments is not the best approach for long-term success. So manufacturers of hybrid power systems need to think out of the box both figuratively and literally to be able to offer the market systems that are purpose-built for outdoor telecom sites and to outdoor telecom standards.
With this in mind, Flexenclosure’s eSite x10 was designed and built from the ground up to address all of the issues above and it has revolutionised the industry. It is an IP65 sealed, tamper-proof unit with no moving parts and passive convection cooling for outdoor temperatures up to 55°C. Soft switching between grid and gensets has replaced mechanical ATS’ and protects the unit from damaging input power. And specially designed power components provide additional electrical protection. This increased sophistication also allows greater amounts of power to be harvested from an unreliable grid.
The truth is there was never any logical sense in building indoor hybrid power systems for extreme outdoor use, and now there is no longer any reason to deploy them. Benefits of modern hybrid power systems include simplified maintenance, longer life span, lower total cost of ownership, reduced risk of theft, simplified logistics, and improved reliability and performance. The industry is well advised to take notice.