Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has unveiled a 5G site in Plano, Texas, showcasing its complete energy-smart network solution. This site demonstrates Ericsson's commitment to sustainability and highlights the integration of energy-efficient solutions with renewable energy sources.
Solar-Powered and Energy-Efficient Solutions
According to the official release, one of the standout features of the site is its potential to be fully powered by solar energy, complemented by integrated Lithium-ion batteries that can provide up to 24 hours of uninterrupted operation. By harnessing renewable energy sources, Ericsson aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions and enhance the resiliency of mobile networks.
Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions without compromising network coverage or user experience is a growing concern for mobile operators. The official release emphasized the significance of Ericsson's smart site solutions, particularly in rural or remote areas and private networks with lower traffic volumes.
Ericsson's Portfolio in Set-up
The energy-smart 5G site includes Ericsson's ultra-lightweight mid-band Massive MIMO AIR 6419, RAN Processor 6651, and Enclosure 6160, which comprises a Solar shelf 6670, lithium-ion Batteries 6612, and Controller 6610 for hybrid energy operation and control.
Hybrid Energy Management for Resilient Networks
According to the statement, the site utilizes hybrid energy management, combining on-site solar power and energy storage systems to integrate clean power and enhance resiliency during grid outages. Advanced capabilities such as load shifting, peak shaving, and demand response allow the site to optimize battery usage based on electricity rates, ensuring cost efficiency and leveraging the most favourable prices.
This demonstration highlights a sustainable solution to conventional off-grid locations that often depend on generators powered by fossil fuels. Ericsson intends to assist operators in cutting down on energy expenses and achieving their Net Zero targets by efficiently coordinating various energy sources and storage technologies.
Ericsson says the energy-smart site also opens up opportunities for future partnerships with utility companies to explore grid frequency, voltage regulation, and demand response.
Second Phase of Project
Furthermore, Ericsson plans to expand the project's scope in its second phase, exploring additional green energy sources, such as hydrogen-based generators, as alternatives to diesel. This phase will also involve interoperability testing with power grid vendors to optimize local energy generation and consumption, enabling the site to sell excess energy back to the grid using net metering.
By leveraging advanced features like the Policy-based Battery Saver, Ericsson said operators can further enhance energy efficiency by selectively switching off specific radio frequencies, thereby reducing energy consumption and increasing network resiliency.
According to Ericsson, besides being a showcase for sustainable network solutions, the energy-smart 5G site will serve as a testing ground for radio hardware and software solutions focused on energy efficiency.