Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Panasonic develops smart energy system for cellular towers and Wifi sites

Steve Rogerson
March 5, 2015
Panasonic Eco introduced its Green Tower energy system for cellular towers and Wifi hotspots at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The Japanese company and its partner, UK-based PowerOasis, unveiled a lithium-ion-based hybrid power system, combining Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery and solar technology expertise with PowerOasis’ telecoms energy management platform.
The system targets cellular towers operating on legacy infrastructure and demonstrates how they can be retrofitted with solar energy generation and advanced energy storage equipment. Green Tower provides the tower operator the benefits of energy efficiency, reduced operating costs and enhanced reliability. The system is designed for a range of telecoms sites having loads from 50W to 3kW, and can be deployed in off-grid, unreliable grid or on-grid locations as either a primary or back-up power source.
“Panasonic is driving a paradigm shift across the industry through its comprehensive energy solution and its energy-as-a-service model, offering telecoms carriers the ability to finally address energy and operating costs with an innovative solution,” said Jamie Evans, who leads Panasonic’s Eco business in the USA. “The Green Tower energy concept marks a shift from traditional static power infrastructure to efficient, remotely managed systems that reduce costs and create new profit centres for wireless carriers.” 
Electricity costs in mature markets can account for up to 15% of total cellular network operating expenditures. In developing markets, these costs can increase up to 50%, due to unreliable grid supply and a heavy reliance on diesel-powered generators that are also subject to fuel theft. The outsourced, end-to-end Green Tower is paid for by performance enhancements and operational savings, requiring virtually no capital outlay. In certain markets, the concept also offers an opportunity for smart grid energy arbitrage. It uses predictive algorithms to show actual load compared with market demand and can send unused energy from on-site assets back to the local grid. Other benefits include satellite connectivity and wireless equipment monitoring.
“This turn-key solution highlights the significant benefits mobile operators can achieve by incorporating an integrated energy management platform and lithium-ion battery technology into their network energy strategy,” said John O’Donohue, chief executive officer of PowerOasis.