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Mon12222014

Technology

DOCOMO to test “green” base stations during summer

DOCOMO to test “green” base stations during summer
Base stations to be tested in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures (Photo from DOCOMO)

DOCOMO is set to field test solar-powered green base stations this coming summer.

Starting April, the Japanese mobile operator and integrated service provider intends to deploy 10 conventional mobile network base stations in the Kanto-Koshinetsu region of Japan, with the first three in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures.

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, DOCOMO began developing disaster-proof, eco-friendly base stations which have been tested at its research and development center since March 2012 to February 2013.

These prototypes are built with solar photovoltaic panels that can generate up to 4.19 kilowatt hours of power and rechargeable batteries to store 14 to 16 hours of power to use when solar is not available.

Green power controllers will manage the power use of the base stations, allowing it to use the available sources of power as needed. The base stations will be able to switch from using solar power, battery power and utility-provided electricity.

For example, the base station can use solely solar power generated by the panels to run communication equipment during the day and can also store the excess. When commercial power supply is discontinued during a disaster, the base can still power its activities with solar power.

To help bring down electricity costs, the batteries within the base station can also be charged with electricity purchased during night time when costs are relatively cheap. The electricity is then used during daytime when costs are higher or when rough weather prevents P.V. power generation.

Meanwhile, the controllers allow solar power to be stored as direct current, avoiding energy loss of about 10 percent due to conversion to alternating current.

Apart from the green base stations, DOCOMO is also considering to develop fuel cell technologies and wind-powered base stations. – EcoSeed Staff



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