Travel and movement restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the growth for usage of data for work and leisure, resulting in significant impact on the telecoms sector. Telecoms companies across the world are focused on increasing resilience and making changes to benefit customers. In some countries, data is being used as the primary tool for internet access, calling for reliable, robust, long-running standby power at cellular signal relay sites where grid supply is intermittent or unreliable.
Hydrogen powered fuel cell modules provide an emissions-free alternative to diesel generators traditionally used in standby power systems for telecom sites. Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell solutions for telecoms standby power are actively servicing telcos in Malaysia and North America with many more in the pipeline.
Benefits of fuel cell telecoms power
- Emissions-free power – Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity through electrochemical reaction, producing no harmful emissions at point of use. The only by product of the process is water and heat.
- Robust reliability – Wide operating temperature range of -10°C to +40°C, with altitude of 0m to 4000m, and 10% to 90% humidity. The lower and upper limits of the system are subject to derate, please refer to datasheet.
- Improved efficiency – Hydrogen fuel cells are up to 60% energy efficient in comparison to the typical internal combustion engine which is around 25%.
- Scalable, modular power – using scalable, modular products comes with a variety of advantages: greater reliability and easier serviceability.
- Lower lifecycle costs – Fuel cell systems are higher in capital cost, but their low maintenance and operational cost are benefits that offset battery and battery-diesel generator systems.
Challenges in the telecoms power industry
- Eliminating emissions – diesel generators produce dangerous emissions whilst running from noise to carbon monoxide. With many telecoms sites sitting in rural areas, this can impact and be detrimental to the surrounding ecosystem.
- Storage efficiency – Batteries may be efficient at storing energy, but unlike fuel cells, they require space for storage and charging and stored surplus energy will diminish over time due to self-discharge phenomenon.
- Downtime and grid dependence – Electricity generated by fuel cells can be used in power shortages during periods where renewables aren’t readily available (i.e., monsoon periods, sundown, etc.). Surplus energy stored in the form of hydrogen through on-site electrolysis does not degrade over time and can be converted to electricity through fuel cells when required.
Our telecoms power products
Intelligent Energy’s IE-POWER range of fuel cell modules provide an ideal solution for telecoms applications whereby flexible and dependable off-grid power is required. Our zero-emission fuel cell modules are compact, robust and simple to integrate, offering a clear advantage over both battery-only and diesel power sources.