Funding for renewable energy base stations
PowerOasis, a UK technology company specialising in the delivery of renewable energy - solar and wind power - to mobile phone base stations, has recently secured backing from angel investors.
The company has developed a range of renewable energy controllers that manage power at a base station and has a development contract with Motorola. The angel investors are: David Norwood, a chess grandmaster and investor in early stage technology; Jon Craton, a telecoms entrepreneur; and David Embleton, a software entrepreneur.
PowerOasis is not advocating renewable energy for base stations in developed regions. ̶0;If you can connect to the grid then do so,̶1; advised Nick Smailes, Director of PowerOasis. But connecting to the grid may be impossible or take too long ̵1; in some parts of the world, two-year waits have been known ̵1; or the grid may be off some of the time. As mobile phone operators roll out their networks into developing nations, the lack of a reliable grid connection is an increasing problem.
̶0;We have a 1.1kW site in Namibia powered entirely from a 6kW wind turbine and a 5.2kW solar array,̶1; Smailes said. ̶0;It has been running for 11 months. It has not suffered outages. In fact, we have been dumping power,̶1; he said. Renewable energy can replace costly diesel generators, which often have their fuel stolen. However, much depends on the weather. Whereas Namibia, Spain, and California are ideal for renewables, in remote areas of the UK a diesel generator or a fuel cell is also needed.
Image: Photo-voltaic or solar panels could be coming to mobile phone base-stations in the future