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Is solar PV feasible for telecom BTS stations in Asia?

McHugh, Patrick (2014) Is solar PV feasible for telecom BTS stations in Asia? Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Populations of Asian countries have all but skipped the telephone landline method of communication; many have opted solely on mobile telephones for communication. Telecommunication for mobiles is via base transceiver stations or BTSs. The telecom providers are pushed to provide greater coverage taking their technology into remote areas away from grid power or into areas of the grid that are unstable. Sited in remote areas, several BTSs are some distance from the electricity grid and this poses a problem of power supply for these stations. Traditionally remote sites are powered by diesel generators.

In this dissertation the cost effectiveness of introducing solar PV is investigating. Focusing on the most cost effective solutions of solely generator produced power and comparing the results to the most economic amount of solar PV produced power. The research case studies centres on two locations namely Laos and Thailand. The method of research is a desktop analysis using Homer modelling software for energy systems. Figures for the cost of components were gathered from two sources one in Laos and the other in Thailand. The results are tabulated, and analysed. Although the technical feasibility aspects are not investigated it is assumed by the author that the proposed solution is viable.

This dissertation shows that using solar PV for remote stations away from the grid is a cost effective method to power these sites, even with variations in price of fuel, solar resource and the considered load of the BTS site.

The benefits of a PV System are:

• The overall levelised cost of electricity is significantly lower.

• Although the capital outlay is more for a PV system the operational costs are much lower.

• The impact of increased fuel prices is very small with solar PV integrated into the system.

• Even with a marginal solar resource there is still great value from choosing solar.

• As the size of the BTS site load increases there is also a greater cost saving.

• The autonomy of the system is increased.

• Less environmental damage.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Whale, Jonathan
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