Market need

As municipalities continue to limit the number of cellular towers, shared base station towers are becoming increasingly common.

Such installations accommodate multiple cellular network operators’ routing and signalling equipment, with the first operator to acquire the site usually taking on responsibility for sharing out electrical power to subsequent joiners.

Under the combined impact of multiple electrical loads from the equipment of different operators on a single cellular network site, there is however the risk that the main on-site circuit breaker may trip, threatening the continued operations of those sharing the cellular tower. This scenario can and should be prevented before consumption approaches the maximum supply capacity of the site’s main circuit breaker and negatively affecting the business of the operators sharing the cellular tower.

Technology solution

The Tellumat Power Manager achieves proactive demand management by continuously monitoring power consumption and, as necessary, disconnecting and reconnecting utility power to each sharing party in turn to spread the load without the main circuit breaker tripping.

This is called load rotation and may be triggered when the total site power consumption approaches the maximum supply capability for that site which may be caused by additional site power demands during peak network usage periods, or by additional shared party equipment starting up, e.g. cooling systems in summer. During the rotation period, the affected sharing party will have no mains power and will have to run on an alternate power source (e.g. batteries).

Should utility power be lost altogether, the system switches over to a generator (if available) and the power manager will, on restoration of mains power, turn on each sharing party in turn to ensure there are no power surges which could also trip the site’s main circuit breaker. This is called start-up staggering.

In the latest redevelopment of the Tellumat Power Manager (model CK100M4), remote monitoring was added to provide more proactive business assurance. Now a site owner can log in over a network to see which parties are connected and which are in rotation, take meter readings and pull statistics of each sharing party’s power demand history.

The Tellumat Power Manager has built in Class 1 energy metering capability, allowing accurate measurement of electricity consumption of the individual shared parties on a site. This provides support for electricity usage and billing applications, whether prepaid or post-paid. All consumption data is accessible in real time via a backend management portal in the cloud.

Benefits

In summary the Tellumat Power Manager provides:

  • Staggered start-ups to prevent a power surge causing a shared base station site’s main circuit breaker to trip after the loss and restoration of a municipal power event.
  • Load rotation when power consumption approaches the maximum municipal power supply limit, and preventing the potential tripping of a shared base station site’s main circuit breaker.

In both cases, the unit offers an elegant, intelligent power-sharing solution to curb the dangers of prolonged outages and prevents maintenance call outs and equipment damage. Furthermore, the remote monitoring and electricity metering capability allows the site owner to carry out proactive interventions, planning and accurate sharing of the electricity billing.