“Our network of 10+ million subscribers needs to be functional during power failures. Proxion Solutions’s BluES Advanced Energy Systems helps us to solve this in our base stations in most demanding conditions in Nepal”, says Mr. Andras Pali, CTO of Ncell.
Nepal, with 30 million inhabitants, is a country whose infrastructure is typical for emerging markets and whose need for services differs from the service needs in western countries. Since 2013, Proxion Solutions has worked with telecom operator Ncell’s to solve challenges in energy supply for base stations.
Please check the video, which highlights the project and its green energy targets and achievements.
Power generation in Nepal is insufficient, leading to year-round daily grid outages. Daily load shedding ranges from 4 hours in the summer to 16 hours in winter months. This has led to the heavy usage of diesel generators and frequent replacement of back-up batteries in base stations. In addition, power grid quality, especially in remote areas in Nepal, is poor. The main objective of the joint project has been to lower operating costs, improve site availability and solve the logistical and safety issue on remote and rooftop sites by:
- Reducing the usage of diesel generators or replacing them completely, especially at city cites
- Reducing power-related faults by enhancing power system tolerance to the poor-quality grid
- Increasing the lifetime of battery back-up from 3 to over 7 years
- Increasing the visibility of a site’s power-related information
- Replacing heavy lead-acid back-up batteries in rooftop systems with compact and low-weight lithium-based solutions
- Addressing environmental issues related to diesel generators and lead-acid batteries
Proxion Solutions, together with local partner, delivered the first trial systems in 2013 in Kathmandu. The tests proved that sites can operate reliably without diesel generators even when load shedding was 16 hours per day in the worst case. During the trial phase, the system was further developed to meet Ncell requirements. Based on the success of thorough tests and studies, BluES solutions began deployment in mid-2014. Nearly 200 sites have been deployed in Nepal since then. For Ncell, Proxion Solutions’ BluES system has proven to be a cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly solution. The project has benefited Ncell in a number of ways:
- Eliminated diesel generators from 90% of sites where BluES systems are installed
- 80% reduction in diesel generator running time at sites left in the bad-grid or off-grid environment
- Energy OPEX savings of 80% compared to the traditional approach
- 5% increase in site availability at BluES sites
From operational point of view, to meet telecom operator’s challenges successfully requires not only local knowledge but also deep understanding of service and business models that solve local problems.