Energy Vision Powers Ahead with Flexenclosure’s eSite

A case study

Read this article to learn:

  • The scope and challenges the Energy Vision ESCO project
  • Details of Flexenclosure’e eSite
  • How the two companies managed to work on such a tight timeframe
  • The use of remote monitoring in system optimisation
  • eSite’s competitive advantage

Having used Flexenclosure’s eSite on a previous project in Gabon, Energy Vision once again selected the system for their most recent ESCO project, completing the installation in record time to the highest standard. Flexenclosure introduce the project and the competitive advantage that eSite brings.

Background

A major pan-African mobile operator was rapidly expanding its network in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. It selected Energy Vision, a leading telecom-focussed Energy Service Company (ESCO), to deploy power systems at a large number of its new tower sites and to be responsible for ongoing site power delivery under an Energy as a Service (EaaS) contract.

The Challenge

All the tower sites at which Energy Vision needed to provide power were new, meaning that there was no pre-existing telecom-specific power supply that could be used. And while some sites did have grid connections, the electricity supply was unreliable – certainly not good enough to maintain uninterrupted network uptime.

Given this situation, Energy Vision’s EaaS proposition was very attractive for the mobile operator. And while it is a fast-growing segment across Africa, EaaS demands the highest levels of long-term performance and reliability from site power systems if the ESCO is going to be able to guarantee generator run hours, meet uptime targets, avoid financial penalties for missed EaaS SLAs, reliably predict energy costs over the long term and maintain a meaningful return on their investment. To make the opportunity financially viable, Energy Vision would therefore need an extremely reliable state-of-the-art solution that could draw heavily on renewable power sources while significantly reducing diesel-related costs.

Further, Energy Vision had a very short time window within which to establish power delivery to the new tower sites if their customer was going to achieve their aggressive network rollout goals.  And the challenges didn’t end there, with extreme environmental conditions and an often-inadequate road infrastructure seriously hampering access to many of the more remote sites.

Energy Vision turned to Flexenclosure for help…

The Solution

Flexenclosure’s eSite x10™ site power system was selected by Energy Vision.  

eSite x10 is the world’s first telecom site power system purpose-built for outdoor telecom sites and to outdoor telecom standards. It is a patented, sealed, tamper-proof outdoor rectification unit with passive convection cooling, no filters, no moving parts and it requires no maintenance. eSite x10 offers the lowest total cost of ownership in the most challenging operational environments and is the perfect long-term ESCO solution.

As a landlocked country, standard shipping to Burkina Faso by sea and then land would have delayed Energy Vision’s required rollout schedule.  But the eSites’ compact size meant that they could be air freighted instead, thus significantly accelerating time to deployment. In fact, eSite x10 is so compact that it can be carried by hand, so transport to site, however remote, is a simple operation.

eSite x10 is designed for fast and easy plug-and-play installation.  All sensors are built in to the unit during manufacturing, and configuration and full testing also take place in the factory. This leaves no possibility of installation errors and maximised the efficiency of Energy Vision’s rollout teams across the country.

With each and every site being unique, Energy Vision was able to use eSite Tools – eSite’s powerful built-in remote management system – to fine tune their systems at an individual site level in order to optimise overall ongoing performance.  In this way, diesel use was reduced, battery lifetime extended and the highest possible uptime ensured. And eSite Tools enabled all of this to be achieved remotely from Energy Vision’s network operations centre, further reducing OPEX through no physical site visits being required.

All the eSites were preconfigured for solar power to make best use of renewable energy – a critical requirement for Energy Vision’s business case.  And ATS functionality was also built in to each eSite, meaning that when grid power eventually arrives at any given site, the system is ready to receive it.

Having previously deployed eSite systems for another project in Gabon, Energy Vision was familiar with eSite technology. Their team also had a very good working relationship with Flexenclosure.  And they knew they would get 100% focussed attention, training and support from Flexenclosure’s system specialists whenever necessary to ensure a successful rollout and ongoing power service delivery.

The Flexenclosure advantage

By working with Flexenclosure, Energy Vision was able to capitalise on a number of additional and significant eSite differentiators.

Site power suppliers have always had to factor rectifier replacements in to their financial calculations due to regular failures. This is a major issue, especially for ESCOs managing EaaS contracts. However, eSite’s purpose built, robust and reliable rectification system is specifically designed to secure continuous site power without failure even in the most challenging environments, meaning an ESCO can trust eSite and will be able to avoid ongoing rectifier-related OPEX hits.

eSite x10 has been purpose-built from an individual component level, IP65 sealed and ruggedised to withstand operational challenges such as heat, humidity, sand, dust, electrical disturbance and accidental physical shocks – and all without the need for any on-going or on-site maintenance.

It has been tested and certified to the strictest CE and ETSI requirements and includes significant innovations including protective soft switching between the grid and connected gensets to replace mechanical ATS switching and thus protect the unit from potentially damaging input – one of the more common causes of rectifier failure at telecom sites.

eSite x10 can significantly reduce genset run hours and fuel use at off-grid sites. At bad grid or good grid sites genset run hours and fuel use are further reduced by maximising energy harvesting from any available grid power.   At solar sites eSite x10 optimises the use of renewable energy.  And all of this results in significantly reduced carbon emissions.

With sensors built in to the unit and calibrated in the factory, eSite x10 ensures sustained performance from data you can trust. The system uses a substantial local data buffer to avoid any data loss. And uploaded data is stored in a secure and cost-efficient data cloud, where it can be accessed by eSite Tools for analysis and by web services for smooth integration with other systems.

It’s part of Flexenclosure’s DNA to work very closely with every customer in order to ensure that every eSite deployment is optimised for lowest ongoing OPEX and highest overall long-term success.  And having delivered projects in more than 20 African countries, Flexenclosure is extremely experienced in delivering solutions that are specifically designed to cope with the most challenging of environmental conditions.

Flexenclosure’s eSite has been a critical enabler in Energy Vision’s establishment as one of the leading ESCOs in Africa.

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