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At Intelec 2009, Saft will demonstrate how its batteries can provide the basis for hybrid power systems that deliver benefits for off-grid BTS (base transceiver stations).

Off-grid BTS installations are usually powered by two diesel generators operating alternately to ensure a reliable power source.

Such a solution, which is greedy in fuel, results in high operating costs and, for the more remote sites, the refuelling and periodic maintenance of the generators creates logistical problems and results in significant additional expenditure.

An attractive option for telecom operators is a hybrid system, with a diesel generator combined with a dedicated cycling battery operating alternately.

This can reduce operating costs for fuel and maintenance by up to 66 per cent while also cutting CO2 emissions in the same range.

To ensure the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) of the hybrid solution, the different sub-systems such as genset, rectifier, controller and battery must be carefully selected and sized to permit the highest system efficiency.

The use of a battery technology designed specifically to offer high levels of performance and reliability in hybrid applications, such as Saft’s, allows a single diesel generator to be used.

This maintains system reliability while reducing capital expenditure as the second generator can be eliminated.

The addition of solar panels or possibly a wind turbine enable an increase in cycling time and can further extend the calendar life of the battery and generator while also increasing the environmental benefits.

Saft nickel-based (Ni-Cd) batteries are designed for use in hybrid and solar applications.

Their key feature is said to be a charging ability that enables highly efficient operation under fluctuating charging conditions.

These batteries also offer good cycling capability to withstand daily and seasonal cycling at variable depths of discharge and state of charge.

The design also provides absolute reliability and the capability to function in extreme temperatures (from -50C to +70C) while ensuring continuous operation at any state of charge.

An important advantage of is its low-maintenance design that helps keep its TCO to a minimum.

It incorporates an optimised electrode design, combined with an internal gas recombination process that not only provides superior behaviour under unstable charging conditions, but also extends the interval for topping up with water, according to Saft.

This is especially important in remote installations.

Saft Industrial Batteries

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