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Solutions for Green Base Stations We need to make an electrical supply system for our new-generation base stations that can work both during normal times and emergencies.Kazuhiko Takeno (Doctor of Engineering), Chief Researcher, Environmental Technology Research Group, Advanced Technology Laboratory, NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

Challenges for customers

We want to provide a stable communication enviroment even during disasters.

Mobile telephone base stations have always been equipped with backup power sources. However, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, we had to develop completely new base stations that can work for long periods in emergencies and handle electricity shortages in summer or following natural disasters. Our development started with a next-generation green base station concept that uses both photovoltaic power generation systems and storage batteries.

Panasonic has previously supplied equipment not only for mobile telephones but also for mobile telephone base stations. We gathered a range of energy management technologies from our group to meet the disaster response needs of these new green base stations.

Panasonic has previously supplied equipment not only for mobile telephones but also for mobile telephone base stations. We gathered a range of energy management technologies from our group to meet the disaster response needs of these new green base stations.

Initiatives

Developing a special Energy Creation-storage Linked System for base stations

“We want to make an eco-friendly base station that can still work during emergencies or electrical shortages.” This was our customer’s initial request. He visited the ‘eco ideas’ House of the Panasonic Center Tokyo and experienced advanced energy management. We had already developed Energy Creation-storage Linked System for the Home, but base stations use electricity over long periods of time and require stricter specifications for charge/discharge control to prevent even momentary power cuts. We combined the energy technologies and base station solution know-how we had cultivated in the past to propose a special Energy Creation-storage Linked System just for base stations.

* SEG-B: An abbreviation for Smart Energy Gateway for Base stations

The SEG-B* (top-left) and lithium-ion storage battery (center-right) ,the core of the green base station

The SEG-B* (top-left) and lithium-ion storage battery (center-right) ,the core of the green base station

Effects

Generated electricity used as direct current without conversion to cut energy losses by about 10%

We had to be able to use the power created by the photovoltaic power generation system without waste and to ensure its long-term, independent operation even during blackouts. So we developed SEG-B* for systems that can store generated electricity in storage batteries as direct current without conversion. Eliminating the losses normally sustained in converting direct current to alternating current enabled us to cut energy losses by around 10%. We put together a compact package of such systems to supply a small, lightweight, and long-life Energy Creation-storage Linked System that can even be installed at pre-existing base stations.

* SEG-B: An abbreviation for Smart Energy Gateway for Base stations

Generation/storage/usage conditions and relative consumption from the power grid supply can all be monitored remotely.

Generation/storage/usage conditions and relative consumption from the power grid supply can all be monitored remotely.

SEG-B*: Provides optimum control over charge/discharge of electricity generated through photovoltaic power and the flow of normal power grid supply based on such environmental conditions as time of day and season.

SEG-B*: Provides optimum control over charge/discharge of electricity generated through photovoltaic power and the flow of normal power grid supply based on such environmental conditions as time of day and season.

Tests helped deepen our reliability ahead of the opening of new green base stations.

An NTT DoCoMo representative says, “Earthquakes are not the only type of disaster. We need green base stations during typhoons and heavy rain. Our aim is to ensure a three-day power supply during disasters in the future. We plan to be able to move electricity between different base stations, too.” Demonstration experiments were conducted at the Yokosuka Research Park to test the Energy Creation-storage Linked System’s storage performance, including in severe outdoor environments, ahead of the full-scale operation of the green base stations. This has helped enhance the reliability of our system. Fields tests are now scheduled ahead of the opening of around ten green base stations by FY2013.

Yokosuka Research Park:An international research location for the mobile communications industry, home to the NTT DoCoMo R&D Center

Yokosuka Research Park:
An international research location for the mobile communications industry, home to the NTT DoCoMo R&D Center

Generation/storage/usage conditions and relative consumption from the power grid supply can all be monitored remotely.

During tests at the DoCoMo R&D Center (in Yokosuka Research Park), four 230 W photovoltaic panels generated up to 920 W of electricity.

Green base station system overview Example of YRP test bed for small base stations (approx. 300 W)

Field tests for green base stations aim to achieve not only overall control for a DC power supply but also electrical surveillance and visualization.

Future vision

Developing stable communications infrastructure in areas without electricity in emerging nations

The mobile telephone industry is experiencing explosive growth in China and other emerging nations across Asia and Africa. Networks need to be built across these regions, even where it may be difficult to secure a power supply. Since green base stations can be installed without any wiring work, it is expected that they can provide communications infrastructure for areas without a normal electricity supply. Panasonic’s green base stations will help overcome the issues of electrical supply in countries and regions throughout the world.

Green base stations can even be used as communications infrastructure in areas without a normal electricity supply.

Green base stations can even be used as communications infrastructure in areas without a normal electricity supply.

Further development

Developing green power systems to help overcome blackouts for a variety of infrastructure equipment

Blackout countermeasures in disaster situations are vital not only for base stations but also for a variety of important infrastructure equipment that protects our safety and security, such as wireless devices and outdoor surveillance cameras. Panasonic has used the know-how cultivated through these green base stations to develop a Green Power System, which is an Energy Creation-storage Linked System that can be used for a wide range of different equipment and devices. Through our own unique energy solutions, we will help build vital infrastructure to support people’s lives.

*Products shown here may not be available depending on the country or region.

terminology
Energy Creation-storage Linked System

This system enables efficient storage of the electricity generated (created) by photovoltaic or fuel cell cogeneration systems and the use of this electricity when main power is close to its limit or temporarily unavailable. Alternating current (AC) is generally used to transmit electricity, but since photovoltaic power generation systems and storage battery units supply direct current (DC), photovoltaic power generation systems are equipped with a DC/AC converter. This power conditioner is not 100% efficient, so energy is lost during the conversion process. AC/DC conversion is also required for storing power in storage battery units. The hardwired systems for energy creation and storage, however, directly store the DC power from photovoltaic panels in storage battery units to maximize the use of the generated power.

Green Power System

Photovoltaic power generation-linked lithium-ion storage battery system that serves as a back-up power supply for outdoor infrastructure equipment during power outages and reduces its power consumption (peak cut), and makes it possible to introduce infrastructure equipment in regions where people are living without electricity.

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