eSite Power Systems: Why we created an all-in one telecom site power system

Reducing maintenance costs and energy efficiency is just the tip of the iceberg

esite

Read this article to learn:

  • Why holistic power systems reduce operational complexity and cost
  • What makes eSite stand out from other power systems on the market
  • How data collection is driving energy efficiency
  • How making smart decisions around energy tools can improve sustainability

eSite Power Systems has over 20 years’ experience designing, manufacturing and deploying sustainable green power infrastructure across Africa and Asia. Its eSite deployments have shown that switching to a reliable power system is an incredibly efficient way to cut operating costs and increase business profitability. They will be joining TowerXchange at our Meetup Africa event on October 5-7 (online) and 12-13 October in Dubai.

TowerXchange: eSite power systems used to be a part of Flexenclosure – what has changed since eSite began operating as its own company?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, eSite Power Systems: A lot and not much. We have the same product that we provide to all major tower companies, and we are the same competent team.

Our focus is much more clear: reliable telecom site power, and honing in on this means that no other product line that can change that focus.

Recently, we got new owners that together with existing owners have funded the company to ensure continued growth. We are now expanding the team and speeding up product development.

TowerXchange: Cell sites are typically powered by many different systems that work together with varying levels of suitability for the conditions at a particular site. Why did you feel the need to reimagine this ecosystem when designing eSite?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, eSite Power Systems: In the past we also used standard components and built a site power system using what was available in the market. After having deployed more than 3000 of those systems in more than 25 developing countries, we realised that the equipment was just not fit for purpose. Standard components need to operate in a nice environment, like a datacentre in Stockholm.

But our customers sites are very far from such an environment! Both electrical and ambient environment can be extremely challenging where they are running towers. All forms of heat, dust and overvoltage create huge problems for standard components and with that short life span and constant replacements.

TowerXchange: How is eSite different from this initial product you went to market with?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, eSite Power Systems: eSite x10 is different in all aspects. We started by looking at what problem we needed to solve for our customers.

We then built the system from scratch with sustainability and reliability in mind throughout all design decisions. We have created a site power system that works and survives for many years in the most challenging environments, and at the same time optimises the use of available energy sources. It requires no maintenance and has all site power related functions built in.

We launched the very first eSite in 2007 in Kenya and since then we have working on OPEX optimisation. We were one of the very first telecom site power systems with built-in hybrid power functionality, and from that point we have been the leaders in how to secure the lowest possible site OPEX in all aspects.

The eSite x10 features convection cooled rectifiers and solar converters together with all necessary control and monitoring functions to form a complete power system out of the box.

It has all the necessary software and hardware components already integrated into one single outdoor system. Since it is all integrated into one single tamper free unit, the hurdles of setting up and integrating different sub-systems on site can be avoided. The configuration is conveniently done via one single interface, either remote or on site via the built in WLAN and WEB server.

We designed eSite x10 to be able to handle sites at both end of the grid availability spectrum – from good reliable grid all the way to a site that is powered purely through solar energy. There is no additional equipment required to handle the different site types and functions such as automatic selection of power from grid or genset is already built into the system.

The other thing that makes us stand out is since eSite x10 is convection cooled, battery cabinet cooling layouts have minimum requirements. Since no heat from rectifiers and other electronics is added to the battery cabinet, no energy is needed to be spent on cooling. This ensure that the batteries do not get exposed to high temperatures that reduces the battery lifetime.

This relaxes the demand for maintenance intense cooling systems such as air conditioners and free air-cooling systems, compared to standard site power systems that have all electronics in the cabinet.

We built modem communication for access to RMS system eSite tools but data can also be extracted to other systems both locally on site and remotely via servers. It also features remote software download for upgrading new functionalities. We are working with leading battery manufacturers using our connectivity to enable remote software upgrades of the battery management system (BMS) in connected Lithium-Ion batteries to further ensure system stability and performance.

TowerXchange: Why is it becoming more important for energy system lifecycles to be extended and maintenance frequency and costs to be reduced?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, eSite Power Systems: There are two aspects here, the financial side and the environment. In the towerco and ESCO space, running an efficient operation with low OPEX is absolutely key, and reducing maintenance costs is a big part of this.

I think we are all aware of the climate challenges we are facing today and the need to use solutions that are sustainable. Using equipment that breaks down regularly and needs to be replaced is not a sustainable environmental choice.

By designing a solution that has no maintenance needs and that is designed to last for more than 10 years, we have a solution that solves these problems. The fact it’s maintenance free and uses almost no energy to run with its convention cooling, we can give our customers a very low OPEX solution for site power.

TowerXchange: Collecting data and using this to optimise energy efficiency is a key priority for towercos. How is eSite supporting this vision?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, eSite Power Systems: eSite x10 manages all power related parts at a telecom site. This includes incoming power, consumed power and battery charging. This makes eSite x10 the perfect data collecting point. The eSite has all needed sensors inbuilt and keeps track of all data.

Many site monitoring solutions are a collection of sensors and controllers. This can often result in duplicate and conflicting data. eSite x10 is a fully integrated system and all data has been processed by the eSite x10 controller before it’s made available for data collection.

All the data is safely stored at site and sent to our RMS, eSite Tools, in minimised and timestamped packages. From eSite Tools you can easily visualise all the data and get alarms and graphs. If our customer has an over-all monitoring system in place already, they can easily read data from Tools directly in their system.

Our customers use the data and the knowledge to make the right decisions about future deployments. Having eSite x10 collecting the data means they can analyse how good the grid is, what they actually get from solar and so on and make even better site configurations in the future.

TowerXchange: Which types of sites benefit the most from the solution?

Christian Jonson, Head of Sales, esite Power Systems: Any site can really benefit from using an eSite x10 as it is suitable for most site types but generally the absolutely best business case is for sites in harsh environmental and electrical conditions. With its inbuilt (and patented) Automatic transfer switch (ATS)S switching between genset and grid, eSite x10 is extremely efficient at a bad grid site.

With all our experience that we have put into the software off grid in hybrid mode, with or without solar power is also a perfect fit. Since the system requires no maintenance and is extremely reliable, it makes a lot of sense to use eSite at extremely remote locations.

To learn more about eSite Power Systems, make sure to book a meeting with them at TowerXchange Meetup Africa (7-8 October, Online; and 12-13 October, Dubai)

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