Tackling safety cost and emissions in telecom towers
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Tackling safety cost and emissions in telecom towers

How can tower owners reduce energy OPEX and emissions while keeping site teams safe?

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TowerXchange speaks with Agustin Rodrigo, Telecom Product Manager at HIMOINSA, to understand how towercos can reduce their energy costs, emissions and equipment lifecycle for a cheaper, cleaner and more effective energy solution.

For those who don’t know, can you start by introducing HIMOINSA and your history in the telecoms infrastructure industry?

HIMOINSA is a power technology solutions company with more than 40 years of experience in the power generation sector for the international market.

We have a Telecom Power Division with a team of engineers, technicians and sales team who work on a daily basis to develop solutions for the telecommunications sector. My role as Telecom Product Manager is to connect the market with the factory and in this respect, we have designed our HT Telecom Range of diesel and gas generator sets that cover all the needs of this kind of application.

Over the past decades, we have supplied equipment to a multitude of BTS on five continents and have offered competitive and innovative power solutions to towercos and operators. Major companies such as Ooredoo, Movistar, Telefónica, Orange, Vodafone, Huawei, Alcatel, Telconet, Entel and more have opted for HIMOINSA generator sets for their projects, as they are reliable, profitable, and flexible power solutions.

What are the major challenges you see towercos and MNOs facing when it comes to energy management – how is HIMOINSA helping tackle this?

Undoubtedly, the main challenges in the telecom sector are to ensure safety, low operating costs and a minimal carbon footprint.

On this regard, our generators are equipped with Yanmar engines, which ensure low fuel consumption and long maintenance intervals. They have become the market’s best-in-class as they guarantee the highest standards in safety, efficiency and durability, as well as low operating costs. In some cases, reaching a savings of up to 0.45L per hour, if it is compared with other models in the market, amounting to about 200,000 L/year based on a telecommunications project with 100 towers operating 12 hrs./day.

Additionally, long service intervals of up to 1,000 hours allow for maintenance to be reduced by up to twice as much compared to other standard generators on the market. For our gas generator, the service intervals increase up to 8,600 hours, it means only one maintenance per year, it is three maintenance checks during the engine’s lifetime, significantly reducing travel, labor costs and consequently, operating costs.

One of the added values of this new range is the possibility to choose up to six different tank options, allowing the capacity to be increased to 1000L, thereby increasing running time and guaranteeing uninterrupted operation for up to 16 days without the need for refueling. This results in a reduction in trips to the site and considerable savings in operating costs.

Customers can choose which fuel tank best suits their needs, and they can also upgrade it when the project so requires. To this end, we have put a lot of work into a design that guarantees a simple, fast and reliable installation.

Increasing colocations and 5G is rapidly increasing power consumption per site. How does your solution scale to accommodating these increasing power requirements?

We used to propose solutions that are scalable, according to the needs of each project and considering that these needs may increase over time. That is why we propose plug and play solutions that allow the solution to be resized at any time. Our equipment offers synchronization options, so that several units can operate in parallel, which let us increase power if it is required. These solutions allow the performance of the system to be optimised according to the power requirements at any time.

Urban sites suffer from limited space to house on-site power for increasing site loads. How have you adapted to provide scaling power with limited space?

For these kind of projects in urban areas the gas generators play a key role ensuring low emissions and noise. Our gas gensets allow a reduction of CO2 up to 15,790 kg/year, as well as 95% of NOx, SO2 and 100% of harmful particles. Significantly reduced carbon footprint and an ‘ultra-low’ sound level of 65dBA@1m. Our gensets are ready to run with NG and LPG.

Towercos and MNOs are maximizing efficiency by using a variety of remote monitoring, asset management and AI software. How do you integrate your hardware with software platforms?

To guarantee remote monitoring, HIMOINSA has designed its own remote management and control platform, HGManager - C4Cloud, which allows a global view of the entire fleet as well as real-time management of each equipment.

HIMOINSA is aware of the importance of making it easier for operators to manage the operating data of our generators and is therefore constantly working on the development of solutions that guarantee connectivity and data management. There are currently some projects for the development of API's that allow the integration of our equipment in third-party systems.

In this sense, we already offer communication modules with open protocols, SNMP, Modbus, Modbus IP...., which allow sharing all the operation data of the equipment with external control and management systems.

In certain markets energy equipment is a prime target for vandalism. How has your solution been ‘hardened’ to protect against fuel and equipment theft?

To ensure the maximum level of security the HIMOINSA generator sets have been designed with anti-theft bolts, security locks and protections to block fuel access. They include a single point of access to minimize the possibility of access for theft.

In addition, specific protections are included to fuel theft such as separate padlocked access and protections to prevent fuel being sucked out of the tank.

COP 28 issued in a new wave of ESG commitments from MENA MNOs, which towercos will need to tackle. How can you help towercos and MNOs meet their emissions goals?

Indeed, our commitment is to ensure environmental-friendly solutions, not only for telecom but also for any applications because we must contribute to a greener future. As we have already mentioned, our equipment incorporates Yanmar engine technology, which is featured by low consumption, and it means an important reduction of CO2 emissions. But what really ensure a minimum carbon footprint impact is the use of alternative fuels such as gas (LPG or NG).

As I mentioned in a previous question, our gas generators are unique in the market and can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 14% compared to our diesel generators. So, we are very happy to offer a comprehensive solution to the market with our gas and diesel generators.

You can hear directly from Agustin and the HIMOINSA team at TowerXchange Meetup MENA on 7-8th February 2024.

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