Historically, cell tower power was a lot like the electrical grid: essential, reliable, taken for granted, a tad dull.
Today, cell tower power is an exciting source of technical and business innovation running at an ever-faster tempo. Global climate change is driving change in renewable green energy (e.g., solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells), government regulations (e.g., carbon credits), and disaster preparedness (e.g., hardening measurement and control systems before the next massive earthquake or tsunami hits). Further, the Internet of Things can only scale up to the massive scale required if cheap, reliable power is available on demand. To learn more about the future of cell tower power, read this white paper and info graphic. Then reach out to your Westell representative who can introduce you to experts and innovators in this field.
There are many ways to improve efficiency, reliability, and scalability of your power system and earn a great return on your investment. In networks, much like real estate, the key is location, location, location. When planning for new network capacity, whether retrofits, acquisitions, or greenfield builds, location is absolutely essential. For carriers, location is important for coverage. For tower owners, location is important to attract and retain tenants. Once the tower is sited, the next essential step is electrical system design. A well thought-out electrical system design will balance efficiency, reliability, and scalability. When a tower’s power system is running well, carriers and owners are poised to deliver a great experience to end users and a profitable bottom line to their shareholders.
By understanding the basic power system components and how they play together, it is easier to see how engineering and operational tradeoffs are made, how best practices can be implemented, and how return on investment (ROI) can be calculated. Most cell tower electrical systems face similar challenges.