Launch of first fuel cell powered telecom tower announced

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Delta Power Solutions, a part of Taiwan-based Delta Group, has announced the launch of first fuel cell powered telecom tower for Ideal Cellular in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The company claimed that the project, which is based on sustainable business model of mass deployment, is the first of its kind in the country.

“In the first phase of the project 30 telecom towers will be powered with this green technology. This initiative will help Idea cellular to reduce carbon foot print & provide an option to expand its green footprint across the country,” the company said in a statement.

Delta and Dantherm Power (a Subsidiary of ‘Ballard Power Systems’) are jointly working to deploy the fuel cell power solution in Idea Cellular Network. The fuel cell system will be integrated and deployed by Delta, along with Delta’s Site Management and Control System (SMCS). These sites will be remotely monitored by Delta’s Network Operation Centre (NOC) in Gurgaon, the company informed. Delta will provide all product and operational support to Idea Cellular under the managed service contract.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for clean energy solutions in the fast-growing India market. This initial deployment with Idea Cellular is an exciting step in validating the financial and environmental benefits of our fuel cell products to Idea Cellular and to prospects in India,” Dalip Sharma, MD of Delta Power Solutions and John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO, jointly stated.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive in January 2012 requiring at least 50% of all rural telecom towers and 20% of the urban towers to be powered by hybrid power (Renewable Energy Technologies + Grid power) by 2015 and a further 75% of rural towers and 33% of urban towers to be powered by hybrid power by 2020. Hybrid solutions involve a combination of renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cells, and grid electricity.

According to the new rules, all telecom products, equipments and services in the telecom network should be certified “Green Passport [GP]” by the year 2015. Telecommunication Engineering Centre, the Department of Telecom’s technical arm, will certify telecom products, equipments and services on the basis of ECR ratings.

“We intend to move quickly in complying with TRAI’s directive. Fuel cell-based power will be a focus for us because of its reliability, efficiency and green attributes,” Anil Tandon, Chief Technology Officer of Idea Cellular, said.

According to Delta, fuel cell systems will be deployed at cell tower locations in close proximity to an Aditya Birla Group chemical plant in the region of Nadga, Madhya Pradesh, which produces hydrogen as a by-product of the chemical production process. The hybrid green energy solution being provided by Delta will displace diesel generators that are currently required to operate on a near-daily basis, due to frequent grid power outages.

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