Generac: Leader in stand-by power for telecoms

Generac has evolved from purely a generator manufacturer to an energy technology solution provider

Read this article to learn:

  • Who is Generac?
  • What solutions do Generac offer to cell site owners?
  • How Generac can help reduce carbon emissions on site

Generac are a US-listed company with global operations. Through acquisitions like that of Deep Sea Electronics, a leader in control and energy management systems, Generac has evolved beyond its original footprint of diesel generator suppliers to become an energy solution technology solution provider. Cell site energy is growing in complexity with 5G driving higher energy requirements, grid power increasing in cost and drives to decarbonisation leading operators to look beyond simple diesel back-up. TowerXchange speaks with Ricardo Navarro, Generac’s Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions about what they offer to tower owners.

TowerXchange: Please introduce Generac – what problems do you solve for cell site owners?

Ricardo Navarro, Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions, Generac:

As you might know, Generac is a US-listed global company, historically a leading manufacturer of back-up generators for residential, commercial and industrial markets. During the past few years, Generac has evolved from purely a generator manufacturer to an energy technology solution provider allowing a full integration of the energy ecosystem.

We are already a primary supplier to the telecom industry covering cell sites, switching stations and data centres. We believe we make a difference by providing the latest available technologies (including sustainable alternatives) specific to the telecom market and bundled into one solution that comes from one source. This includes traditional AC and DC generators, hybrid systems, DC Power solutions, full site monitoring, rooftop applications and gaseous more sustainable back up power alternatives

TowerXchange: The first question our readers will want to know is ‘how proven is the solution in the field’ – please tell us about the deployment of your solution in the field – who is using it and what results have been achieved?

Ricardo Navarro, Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions, Generac:

This is a rapidly evolving segment, and despite being in this industry for many years and working with most of the players you need to continue innovating and anticipating the new applications and operational needs. We have successfully deployed most of the technologies and applications that I referenced previously. We are now focusing most of our efforts on the new hybrid and bundled solutions as well as rooftop solutions with our natural gas and propane generators to reduce the carbon footprint while improving operational efficiency.

TowerXchange: Tell us about the range of gensets you provide – KVA, AC or DC, variable speed etc.

Ricardo Navarro, Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions, Generac:

Today, we provide different types of solutions which include diesel and gaseous generators in the range (depending on the fuel) between 7KW to 3.2MW for stationary and mobile applications. Hybrid solutions with lead and lithium batteries are customized to the customer specific requirements but usually ranging between 7Kw to 50KW and DC generators between 15KW to 20KW

TowerXchange: How do you fit into the wider cell site energy ecosystem? What expertise sits in-house and what do you outsource?

Ricardo Navarro, Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions, Generac:

We only outsource the most commoditised components like batteries, everything else we are offering as part of a site ecosystem is vertically integrated. That give us a significant advantage when trying to customise solutions for specific site requirements or being able to provide a more comprehensive solution going from the basic back-up generator to an energy-as-a-service solution.

TowerXchange: What’s the sweet spot for your solutions in terms of grid availability and the load your solutions can support? Reducing total cost of ownership is crucial for cell site energy systems, how has your solution been designed to maximise autonomy and minimise the number of site visits required?

Ricardo Navarro, Senior Vice President – Global Telecom Solutions, Generac:

It really does not make any difference to us. Our range of solutions can adapt to the site conditions. For example, current hybrid solutions, despite the larger initial capital investment are demonstrating significant long-term savings (over 65% for off-grid applications) aside from the impact on reducing the carbon footprint impact. On top of that, our remote monitoring platform allows not only a constant connection to site status but also analyse data points and evolve from preventive maintenance to a predictive type of service, reducing further operational costs. Again, we can build to match customer specific site requirements.

TowerXchange: Many towercos and MNOs are now looking at ways to minimise their carbon emissions – in what ways have you created the most efficient genset you can?

Ricardo Navarro, President Latin America, Generac:

As part of Generac’s sustainability commitment, we thrive on creating innovative solutions that really make a difference. We continue developing solutions with our natural gas and propane generators that, being part of a hybrid DC bundle, truly minimises the carbon emissions as well as the operational costs

In the next few years, the telecom market will require not only an increased energy demand but also a more resilient energy supply while securing a significant carbon emission reduction. Generac has grown into a full energy solution and energy technology company integrating through internal innovation or strategic acquisitions those critical components to serve the future requirements of this market. Best example is the recent acquisition of Deep Sea Electronics, a leader in control and energy management systems.

 

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