DT, Ericsson Team for Sustainable 5G Radio Site Operations
May 27, 2022
successful trial on German communications service provider (CSP) Deutsche
Telekom‘s (DT) 5G-enabled network could pave the way for major advances in
sustainable mobile site operations with renewable energy. The joint Ericsson and
DT initiative has transformed a live radio site using a management solution to
efficiently harness solar and wind energy while optimizing power supply and
A major goal of the Ericsson-DT partnership is to identify and validate energy
efficiency and energy cost cutting solutions based on optimized energy
consumption and control and increased usage of renewable energy sources.
The site - in the Bavarian municipality of Dittenheim, about 120km north of
Munich - has been part-powered by energy from solar panels since the initiative
began more than a year ago. The site currently has 12 sqm of solar modules. Now,
Ericsson and DT experts have added a wind turbine, capable of providing up to
five kilowatts of additional power, as a second renewable energy power source.
The resulting simultaneous integration of the two renewable energy sources –
made possible by the Ericsson Power System (a new Ericsson energy management
system) – means the site can theoretically be operated on a stand-alone basis
without utilizing its cable connection to the electrical power grid. As long as
weather conditions support the use of the renewable capabilities, the solution
can make a major contribution to powering the site.
The Ericsson Power System provides the necessary voltage conversion and maximum
power point tracking (MPPT). The joint control of the two power sources and the
batteries are integrated into the same management system that controls the Radio
Access Network (RAN). This single management system will allow for quick and
easy integration into existing sites in the future.
Batteries installed in current systems serve as storage in the event of a power
outage. New Ericsson software and control mechanisms enable the management
system to use the batteries as dynamic power storage units to make optimum use
of the energy generated.
Initial tests showed that on windy days, more renewable energy could be
generated than was consumed by site operations. The control of the energy
sources includes various functions for hazard prevention as well as automation.
For example, in the event of a malfunction, the wind turbine can be
automatically deactivated to prevent uncontrolled operation.
next project phase will see the development of additional functions for the
efficient use of generated energy and storage capacities. In the near future,
the integration of additional energy sources such as fuel cells will replace the
need for diesel generators, which are currently kept in reserve for emergencies.
Leif Heitzer, SVP Technology Guidance and Economics at Deutsche Telekom, says:
“Ensuring an integrated management of clean, efficient and reliable power
sources and usage is key for sustainable mobile site operations. Together with
innovative partners we explore in trials how we can apply intelligent solutions
and capabilities to optimize energy consumption and control at mobile sites.”
Heather Johnson, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility,
Ericsson, says: “At Ericsson, we are committed to working with our customers to
support them in cutting their carbon emissions. This partnership is a great
example of how we’re achieving this through our best-in-class energy efficient
equipment, which can be operated entirely with renewable energy.”