The True Cost of Providing Energy to Telecom Towers in India

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  • Topic: Smart grid, Electrical generator, Capacitor
  • Pages : 11 (2449 words )
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  • Published : May 5, 2013
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The True Cost of Providing Energy to Telecom Towers in India

Whitepaper

Contents
Introduction .......................................................................................... 2 A typical telecom tower site..................................................................... 3 Telecom site operating conditions ............................................................ 3 Case study: 3 BTS Site with 12 hours of electrical grid supply ..................... 4 Cost calculations: CAPEX and OPEX calculations ...................................... 5 CAPEX Calculations: .......................................................................... 5 OPEX Calculations: ........................................................................... 5 Plausible additions ................................................................................ 7 Energy costs at various sites ................................................................ 8 The effects of diesel price increase ........................................................... 8 Conclusions ........................................................................................... 9

1

Introduction
Unreliable electrical grid supply is one of the biggest challenges faced by the rapidly growing telecom tower industry in India. Today, on average, 70 percent of the approximately 400,000 mobile towers in India face electrical grid outages in excess of 8 hours a day. Telecom tower operators currently use diesel generators, batteries, and a variety of power management equipment to address the demand-supply gap. The resulting energy costs alone account for 25 percent of the total network operating costs 1, affecting the profitability of the operators. Exhibit 1: Average per day grid availability by region in India2

25
Grid Availability per day (hrs)

21.5 20 19.1 18.9 19.1 17.2 13.8

20.7 18.5 19.5

20.7 18.1

19.3 18.3 16.7 13.8

20.3

15

13.8

12.7

10.4 8.8

10 7.4 5 7.2

0

The telecom tower industry in India is estimated to consume over 2.5 billion litres of diesel annually making it the second largest consumer of diesel in the country. This business continuity service results in a revenue under-recovery3 (revenue loss) of INR 14.64 per litre4 of diesel to the public sector oil marketers totalling to approximately INR 3,660 Crore (USD 732 million approx) annually. The 2.5 billion litres of diesel consumed, emit 6.6 million metric tons of CO2 annually, making the current use of diesel generators both an environmentally and economically unattractive solution.

1 2 3

http://www.ccaoi.in/UI/links/fwresearch/conceltation%20paper%203.pdf http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/docs/cool-it/reports/telecom-report-may-2011-web-optimized.pdf http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-11-07/news/30369629_1_diesel-margins-petrol-and-diesel-prices-oilhttp://www.business-standard.com/elections/news/hpcl-to-reduce-petrol-rate-if-global-prices-go-down/136595/on

companies
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This white paper details true energy costs of a telecom tower site facing average power outage of 12 hrs a day. The above mentioned site is powered by a diesel generator and a pack of batteries, a configuration that currently exists in over 90% of the telecom tower sites.

A typical telecom tower site
At a typical cell tower, the power demand is determined by the number of base transceiver stations (BTS5) housed. The power demand ranges from 1 kW to 8.5 kW where more than 80% of these configurations have a demand less than 3.5 kW. To ensure power availability of more than 99.95%, tower owners backup the electrical grid with a combination of batteries and diesel generator. At most sites, the tower owners install diesel generators of 10kVA to 15kVA capacity and supplement it with battery banks of 300Ahr to 900Ahr capacities. The diesel generator and battery configurations are decided based on the power outage pattern, equipment at site,...
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