Motorolla makes a green energy call

Mobile phone base stations are a step closer to being powered by green energy following Motorola’s announcement this month that it has successfully completed feasibility trials.

The tests concluded that a combination of solar cells and wind turbines could generate 1,200W in a continual cycle; enough to drive a mid-sized station and support a microwave backhaul installation.

Powering mobile phone base sites in both developed and emerging markets is a challenge for operators because of the high cost or difficulty of providing mains electricity. Motorola’s green-powered stations can replace or reduce the load on mains power and remove the need for power generators that require continual re-fuelling and security.

‘In areas such as central Africa, operators can spend as much as two-thirds of their operating costs on diesel power,’ said Mohammad Akhtar, Motorola’s vice-president of global product management, sales and services. ‘Using eco-powered stations can help to lower costs. This reduction can be critical for operators in emerging markets when building networks for customers in remote locations.’

In collaboration with Bristol, Bath and Surrey universities, Motorola successfully ran the year-long test at its GSM facility in Swindon. During the trials, the company used a combination of solar and wind power to run a GSM base station and charge batteries that kick in when the solar or wind power is insufficient.

Motorola’s alternative power solutions are now available to trial in live networks across Europe, the middle east, Africa and Asia- Pacific regions.