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Creating green sites

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The success of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games fulfilled the dreams of the Chinese people, and having a "Green Olympic" showed the considerable strides the government took to protect the environment and reduce pollution.

With the explosive growth of the mobile communications industry, the proportion of power consumed by the sites is rising exponentially with the total amount of power consumed by the entire nationwide network. Energy conservation and emission reduction, and eco-friendly sites are now of prime consideration in network construction.

A site is the collective name for the access layer in mobile communications. The construction of communication sites includes station equipment, auxiliary equipment and project construction. A green site not only fully provides the services a base station offers, but also saves energy and reduces waste.

Energy conservation and emission reduction

Generally, more than 90% of the power consumption of the station comes from the communications equipment and air-conditioning system. These are two key factors in optimizing energy conservation: lowering the power consumption of communications equipment and the air-conditioning system, plus simultaneous use of new energy based on the situation at the site.

Cutting base station power consumption

By using a high frequency digital power amplifier, Huawei improves by 45% the efficiency of power amplification in the base station, which is the first and most important step to achieving a green site solution. Based on the distributed design, Huawei base stations can be installed on the tower to reduce feeder loss. Power consumption is reduced by 20% with the same coverage for each station. Every station can save electricity of 5700kWh per year, equal to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 1.7 tons of coal.

Less air-conditioning

Based on actual local climate conditions, Huawei uses direct ventilation, intelligent ventilation and heat exchange for heat dissipation in the equipment rooms to reduce the need for traditional air-conditioning.

These measures make full use of convection air to exchange indoor heat with outdoors, and efficiently reduce power consumption while maintaining temperature control. For the dustproof design of the direct ventilation system, Huawei uses a dedicated fan filter for optimum filtering. This type of fan filter has a large capacity for dust containment and is designed to withstand high winds, while generating slight resistance. The loss of wind pressure is less than 25%. A fan filter installed outside the window frame makes it easy to remove and clean, ensuring clean air quality in the equipment rooms.

Making full use of clean energy

The large scale application of solar, wind and other alternative energies can also lend a hand in reducing power consumption at sites.

Huawei has different green energy solutions that cater to different conditions, including solar energy, solar-wind hybrid power and solar-diesel combination. All of which are especially applicable for small-capacity outdoor stations where it is difficult to get electricity from the grid.

Compared with a diesel generator, a solar system not only reduces the emission of carbon dioxide, but also reduces maintenance and repair expenses. The extra investment is recouped usually in three to five years, paving the way to enhanced profits down the road.

The application of green energies depends heavily on the local climate and geographical conditions. At the beginning of 2008, China Mobile Qinghai installed a Huawei solar-wind hybrid power supply system at the Jiayi Road Administration site.

The power consumption of the main equipment is 600W. The solar-wind hybrid power supply system is equipped with 22 solar panels, two 1KW wind generators, and a set of 1200AH storage batteries. Test results from the site show that the solar-wind hybrid power supply system provides 25.92kWh of electricity daily. The generated electricity is more than enough for the site requirements and provides the storage batteries and other gears 18.17kWh per day. The fully charged storage batteries can support 99 hours of normal equipment operation.

Intelligent management

Site management is very important after network construction. As the number of sites increases, so does the maintenance, and the cost of traditional site construction is comparatively high.

Operators with limited investment, cannot monitor or manage auxiliary equipment, or the environment, and are largely unaware of equipment status at the site. If there are any faults, equipment theft or out-of-service situations, maintenance technicians usually cannot handle the problem in time. The life cycle of equipment is lessened while the cost of maintenance increased, not to mention the resulting customer complaints.

The Huawei solution is to design the site management unit and site network management system to achieve intelligent management. The network management unit realizes intelligent management of the auxiliary equipment. The site network management realizes the central management and maintenance of the entire network by accessing the main equipment network management platform, and unifies the platform for management and maintenance.

The intelligent management system can monitor the status of the power supply equipment, power distribution equipment, storage battery, generator, green energy and air-conditioning system. The temperature, fire alarm, burglar alarm and other environmental information are also monitored in order to reduce maintenance and achieve site self-monitoring. Intelligent management captures every fault in the site to make operations secure.

The intelligent access control system supplies the authorization management and security management to maintenance personnel. The transmission and network topology of the intelligent management system are applicable to any networking requirement in any condition. It also supports the remote data load and remote upgrade, which are quite convenient for upgrades and maintenance.

The heavy blizzards in 2008 in southern China caused base stations out of service in large areas. The main reason was that the storage batteries were excessively discharged because of not having power for a long time.

If the base stations had the intelligent management system, service outages of some important stations could have been avoided. Before a storage battery was totally discharged, the network management platform would have detected it. According to the degree of importance, operators could then send generators to the sites to keep them running.

Intelligent management is currently the trend in site management. There will eventually be "unmanned base stations" with high reliability and safe operations, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs.

Fast deployment

During site construction, operators face many problems, such as taking up too large an area, long construction period and difficult transportation, causing a waste of time, energy, and money. For a solution, Huawei provides shelters and containers to realize fast service deployment and assist operators.

The shelters and containers enable all base station functions. Compared with the traditional equipment rooms, they are smaller, easy to transport, highly centralized and easy to install. At the beginning of 2008, Huawei established two sample sites for China Mobile Qinghai. A shelte r was installed at the Dazhong Supermarket site while a container was used for the Yanxiao Village site.

The shelter at the Dazhong Supermarket site uses a modular design, which is convenient for transportation and installation. The shelter has fewer environmental limitations, making site construction simple. The equipment inside is precisely arranged to conserve space and power, plus the installation time is reduced to one day by only four people.

The container at the Yanxiao Village is a standard 10 inch container and can be transported and installed as a whole, and is well protected against theft. The station and all auxiliary equipment have already been integrated and tested in the factory, which enables complete installation in four hours by one person. Containers are installed for network flexibility and can be transported at anytime, reducing investment and other expenditures for operators.

Huawei provides operators with real site solutions, which are "green, intelligent and fast". These solutions help operators to reap the benefits of truly green sites while solving the problems of excessive power consumption, long construction time, and high maintenance costs.

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