Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom trial sustainable 5G sites

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Ericsson is partnering with Deutsche Telekom (DT) to advance the use of renewable energy for 5G radio site operations.

Switching to renewable energy sources has never been more critical. Aside from reducing our environmental impact, renewables help us move away from obtaining fossil fuels from nations that use the money to power their war machines.

Heather Johnson, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson, said:

“At Ericsson, we are committed to working with our customers to support them in cutting their carbon emissions.

This partnership is a great example of how we’re achieving this through our best-in-class energy-efficient equipment, which can be operated entirely with renewable energy.”

Ericsson and DT transformed a live 5G site – in the Bavarian municipality of Dittenheim – to use renewable energy.

The site was already part-powered by solar panels since it opened over a year ago. The site has 12sq/m of solar modules and has been joined by a wind turbine capable of generating up to five kilowatts of additional power. Whether blue or grey skies, the site should be able to access some renewable energy.

An Ericsson-designed management solution is used to optimise power supply and demand so the maximum potential of solar and wind energy is realised. The system theoretically enables the site to run on a standalone basis without utilising its cable connection to the electrical power grid.

Leif Heitzer, SVP of Technology Guidance and Economics at DT, commented:

“Ensuring an integrated management of clean, efficient, and reliable power sources and usage is key for sustainable mobile site operations.

Together with innovative partners, we explore in trials how we can apply intelligent solutions and capabilities to optimise energy consumption and control at mobile sites.”

The partners claim that, on windy days, more renewable energy was generated than was consumed by the site’s operations. A not-so-clean diesel generator is kept as a backup for emergencies but additional sources like fuel cells will be integrated “in the near future”.

(Image Credit: Ericsson)

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