Ericsson showcases 5G site with energy-smart network solution

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson announced a new 5G site showcasing its energy-smart network solution in Plano, Texas.
Energy-smart 5G site in Plano, Texas by Ericsson“Operators can now utilize untapped assets, thanks to this technology, creating new energy cost savings opportunities,” said Kevin Zvokel, Senior Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson North America.

This 5G site has the potential to be fully operated by solar energy, complemented by integrated Lithium-ion batteries, for up to a 24-hour period.

“Ericsson’s smart site solutions for hybrid energy sources are designed to help operators control costs and increase profitability – especially in rural or remote areas or private networks, where traffic volumes are lower and power consumption needs to be especially efficient,” said Ed Gubbins, Principal Analyst at Global Data.

This site includes the mid-band Massive MIMO AIR 6419, RAN Processor 6651 along with Enclosure 6160, which comprises of a Solar shelf 6670, lithium-ion Batteries 6612, and Controller 6610 for hybrid energy operation and control.

The 5G site will feature capabilities such as load shifting, peak shaving, and demand response which enables the site to effectively utilize batteries when electricity rates are high and recharge the batteries when electricity rates are lower. This dynamic strategy allows for multiple daily cycles, ensuring optimal cost efficiency by taking advantage of the most favorable electricity prices.

Phase two of the project will explore additional green energy sources as alternatives to diesel, such as hydrogen-based generators. This phase will also explore interoperability with power grid vendors, optimizing local energy generation and consumption to sell back to the grid with net metering.

By unlocking Ericsson Network Manager features like the Policy-based Battery Saver, operators can switch off specified radio frequencies to reduce energy consumption and, by so prolonging network services, increasing network resiliency.

This site also has the potential to be utilized as a test bed to trial radio hardware and software solutions that improve energy efficiency in conjunction with smart-site solutions. It opens additional avenues for exploration, including collaboration with utility companies in areas such as grid frequency, voltage regulation, and demand response.