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Huawei expert on digitalising site energy for green connectivity and computing

Huawei expert on digitalising site energy for green connectivity and computing

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Peng Jianhua, President of Huawei Telecom Energy, tells us how the company is working closely with the telecommunications industry to explore and drive the development of 5G based on the concept of simple, smart and green.

5G Power helps customers to rapidly deploy 5G and reconstruct sites so that they’re fully intelligent for optimal TCO.

By 2025, the number of people-to-people, people-to-things and things-to-things connections will exceed 100 billion. With the growing adoption of 5G networks, experience and business-driven connectivity and computing are becoming ubiquitous.

The rise of new services, such as online healthcare, online education, online office, smart home, VR, AR and autonomous driving, is demanding broader network connections, higher bandwidth and content and computing that are closer to users.

We’ve seen a series of major new changes taking place in communications networks, including increased wireless frequency bands and sites, fibre replacing copper, all-optical FTTx, equipment room capacity expansion and FMC/ICT convergence. Base stations will also evolve from communications and connectivity functionality to ‘social stations’ with a full array of functions.

So, how will these developments change site energy infrastructure?

Seeing the future to create a better now

  • Optimising CAPEX and OPEX: The number of base stations, the amount of equipment room hardware and power consumption are rising. Site construction involves building traditional equipment rooms, rigging together multiple boxes in the power system and overlaying multiple systems. Multiple stages are needed, including engineering surveys, negotiations, approval and civil construction. Construction cycles are long, investment requirements are high and fast service provisioning is impossible. Site management is complex and evolution difficult. The current structure incurs high site CAPEX and OPEX. For example in ME GCC countries we find that so many sites have little free space to install additional power cabinet or battery cabinet to support new 5G, also causing high maintenance difficulty.
  • CT and IT convergence: Advances in 5G technology and the increase in service applications have resulted in computing getting closer to users and the convergence of CT and IT into ICT architecture. A typical example is the increase in the proportion of IT equipment in sites, with trends moving towards AC and DC power supply and the greater prominence of equipment rooms.
  • Redefining energy storage systems: Lead-acid batteries are fast being swapped out for lithium-ion. While ordinary lithium-ion batteries have advantages, they’re a simple combination of battery cell and structural component, which can only provide simple backup power. They cannot be coordinated, enable only imprecise management and waste resources. They’re also expensive to evolve and are difficult to operate and maintain. In the 5G era, the architecture of base station energy storage systems needs to be redefined.
  • Hybrid modernisation: Various factors are encouraging operators to reduce DC running time and fuel consumption, including climate change and the need to get profit from OPEX, the continued fluctuation on the price of fuel and the unreliable site power availability. This hybrid modernisation is boosting power supply system efficiency and reducing the need for diesel generators, helping ME operators to optimise the power network and reduce OPEX.
  • Digitalisation and smartification to minimise O&M costs: 4G O&M for roughly 80% of base stations involves manual on-site inspections to locate issues and troubleshoot faults, with average annual O&M per site potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. In the 5G era, the surge in the number of connections and sites will lead to ever-more-complex O&M. Legacy O&M methods will result in soaring O&M OPEX. The need to greatly improve site O&M efficiency will drive the full digitalisation and smartification of energy infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure: Site energy infrastructure will become more open and sites will evolve from communication stations into social stations that provide functions like site sharing, energy infrastructure sharing and advertising space rental. Sites will be able to accommodate capabilities like environment and security monitoring equipment and peripheral power supply. Site and energy sharing in this way will maximise site resource utilisation.

5G Power and CO-MIMO

Huawei’s 5G Power is a next-gen site energy solution designed to achieve a simple, smart and green telecom energy network. It utilises Huawei’s extensive experience in 5G network evolution, materials science and key technologies in power, power electronics, thermodynamics, IoT and AI.

CO-MIMO is a full-scenario equipment room solution for helping carriers quickly deploy 5G and optimise E2E TCO.

By adopting digital technologies such as AI, Big Data and IoT, the solution enables real-time connectivity and the global management of grid power, energy storage, temperature control and loads supporting a fully intelligent energy network with smart power output and smart O&M for site energy systems.

High-density, efficient power output technology, new energy resources and smart technology achieve an efficient, eco-power network at three levels modules, sites and networks – so carriers can build end-to-end green, efficient energy networks and support sustainable development.

The solutions also open up base station resources, transforming them from communication stations into social stations that maximally utilise resources.

In 2019, Huawei’s 5G Power solution won ITU’s Global Industry Award for Sustainable Impact. Huawei is currently the only manufacturer that can provide solutions that conform to ITU’s international standards for 5G power.

Accelerating 5G deployment and optimising TCO

By reserving space for future capacity expansion and additional hardware, carriers can achieve smooth expansion and save costs when evolving to multi-band 5G.

Huawei is enabling them to do this by making breakthroughs in power density and power and energy storage density. Offering ‘1 site, 1 cabinet’, ‘1 site, 1 blade’, ‘1 cabinet instead of 1 equipment room’ and ‘converged ICT with 1 cabinet’, the advanced 5G Power solution enables 5G site deployment in various scenarios without needing to renew the mains, building equipment rooms, adding cabinets, or replacing cables, to help customers rapidly deploy 5G and achieve optimal TCO.

One Site, One Cabinet: represents the first smart , unified and comprehensive energy platform for 5G power. It integrates a 5U, 36 kW power supply capacity, which is double the industry average. And the 3.6U, 150 Ah 5G power intelligent energy storage system beats the industry average energy storage density by 220%. Multiple power supply inputs, including mains supply, solar energy, wind energy and diesel generators, and multiple voltage output standards, such as DC 48V/12V/24V/36V, AC 220V, are supported on one platform and one system. With the solution, all equipment can be housed in one site. The one site, one cabinet principle supports the smooth evolution of all services and enables network-wide smart management. It makes 4G sites 5G-ready without increasing CAPEX and, for new 5G deployment, it delivers end-to-end TCO savings of 50%.

One Site, One Blade: For remote AAU/RRU scenarios, Huawei’s One Site, One Blade solution comes equipped with the industry’s first 6 kW blade, which features natural cooling, a small footprint, maintenance-free capability and fast service provision. The unique butterfly design and cutting-edge cooling technology reduce wind resistance by 40% and improve cooling efficiency by 25%.

For equipment room scenarios, Huawei’s simplified CO-MIMO power supply system provides new architecture, is compatible with all standards, and offers a range of benefits: 55% lower volume, 70% less load, 30% higher capacity and an E2E boost from 80% to 92%. The solution can help customers retrofit and expand the capacity of services at the original site without needing new leases, new equipment rooms, or engineering work, which in turn supports simplified evolution towards 5G for CO equipment rooms.

It also supports connections to renewable energy, ensuring power supply for converged IT\CT equipment and MEC-ready capability. The unique CO power supply intelligent energy storage system supports a maximum of 6000A ultra-high power. The solution is equipped with smart automatic fire-extinguishing technology for lithium-ion batteries, an industry first that maximises system safety.

Site energy goes fully intelligent

Huawei is accelerating the Digital Transformation of base stations by adopting AI and IoT. Harnessing these digital technologies, the 5G Power solution optimises coordinated scheduling between various systems, such as power supply modules, site hardware and the network. This enables smart power output and smart O&M for site power systems, driving the full smartification of the energy network.

On the power output side, Huawei has proposed ‘bits managing watts’ and ‘zero watt if zero bit’. The smart coordination of Huawei 5G Power’s multiple subsystems – intelligent power supply, intelligent energy storage and intelligent network management – supports intelligent peak shaving and maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of grid power, maximising site power supply capacity and helping operators deploy 5G without modifying the mains supply or adding cabinets.

Exclusive 57V intelligent constant voltage technology supports AAU power supply without replacing cabling, reducing line loss and unleashing 100% of the energy storage capacity.

The 5G Power solution also adopts innovative smart metering to solve the issue of inaccurate energy management. By supporting smart electricity metering, the power consumption of all electrical loads in a site can be calculated separately without adding electricity meters. This enables customers to precisely measure the power consumption of each load, according to tenants, frequency bands and sectors, giving them accurate data to improve energy efficiency and carry out precise investment.

The 5G era will require more accurate power backup and precision power-down management according to service priority. Huawei has redefined shutdown logic, with shutdown strategy implemented in a smart and coordinated way, using multi-dimensional indicators so that sites execute precise power-down based on service importance. This function also allows precise power management, dramatically reducing investment in energy storage.

With 5G Power’s intelligent energy storage, Huawei has unlocked greater potential in site energy storage systems. The system provides a three-tier architecture comprising local BMS, energy IoT networking and cloud BMS. Underpinned by intra-site, inter-site and site/network energy storage collaboration coupled with Big Data analytics and AI algorithms, the solution supports intelligent voltage boosting, smart anti-theft, the intelligent hybrid use of batteries and intelligent parallel operations. This will ensure ultimate reliability for power supply and backup; maximise battery value; and meet new demands for applications, smart collaboration, precision management and all-scenario applications in site energy storage in the 5G era.

Rethinking O&M

The 5G Power solution applies simplified IoT networking to support digital showing board visibility, the visibility of energy consumption per bit and energy efficiency/PAV visibility for the entire site energy network; remote O&M manageability and battery/diesel generator state of health (SoH) management; smart scheduling controllability; and AI big data analysis optimisation. For site asset management, Huawei’s 5G Power integrates multiple smart anti-theft measures including digital anti-theft and AI image analysis. These measures clarify site asset management and evolve anti-theft systems from physical to digital.

Modules, sites, network: Three-layer green network energy

In traditional power supply systems, the sole focus is on rectifier efficiency. Other parts of the power supply are limited by structure and capacity, which means they aren’t considered. Huawei’s 5G Power solution uses AI to enable communications and real-time connectivity and the global management of grid power, energy storage, temperature control and loads. These capabilities achieve green connectivity and computing with efficient energy-saving across three layers: modules, sites and the network.

Energy efficiency at the module level is achieved with an industry-leading 98% efficient rectifier, heat resistant materials and phase change cooling temperature control, helping save 5,000 kW of electricity per site per year.

Operators can cut energy use at typical sites by 50% by hybrid modernisation. Corresponding measures include reconstructing old and inefficient sites and indoor-to-outdoor site conversion, with technologies like AI-supported iDG, super-fast charging, intelligent network management scheduling and intelligent collaboration.

At the network layer, cloud-based intelligent network management identifies inefficient sites and allows smart network-wide coordination between the mains supply, power supply systems, energy storage and loads. Intelligent management also includes precision energy efficiency management and the optimisation of site energy consumption across the whole network, helping carriers build fully green, efficient energy networks.

Social stations: Maximising site resource utilisation

Energy hardware that in the past formed part of base stations’ support infrastructure has now become the cornerstone of the network, and even a key determining factor in whether 5G can rapidly develop.

Huawei believes that as 5G becomes more widespread across industries and ICT convergence ramps up, the sharing of network infrastructure will also increase. Opening the capabilities of site energy systems will need to increase and sites will have to evolve from traditional communications into site sharing and energy sharing to maximise site energy efficiency.

Huawei’s industry-first super site power supply MEC solution harnesses intelligent integrated power supply and unified power supply architecture that’s compatible with all input and output standards, flexible modularised expansion, ultra-high power supply and backup capacity, ultra-high heat treatment capacity and class A environmental adaptability.

It supports the co-deployment of ICT devices and full-scenario applications. Thanks to its large power supply and backup capacity, the MEC solution enables site energy sharing, providing backup power as well as electric vehicle charging/power exchange for businesses and residents.

Flexible multi-standard output capabilities can ensure power leased sites, covering diverse functions such as security monitoring, disaster detection and outdoor advertising.

Maximising investment efficiency

With the aim of achieving ubiquitous green connectivity and computing, Huawei is a leader in the digitalisation of site energy. It works with the telecommunications industry to explore and drive the development of 5G based on the concept of simple, smart and green. We will continue to concentrate on the challenges facing customers in the 5G era and help them build a future-oriented, fully digitalised, intelligent green network that meets sustainable development goals and saves OPEX.

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