Telecommunication is a key driver of economic and social development. Providing telephone coverage across the country has been our top priority area. The unprecedented increase in tele-density and sharp decline in tariff in the Indian telecom sector has contributed significantly to the country’s economic growth.
Over the past decade, Indian Telecom sector has witnessed phenomenal growth and mobile telephony in particular has revolutionized the country. The popularity of cell- phone and wireless communication devices has resulted in a proliferation of mobile Base Trans-receiver Stations (BTSs) across the country.
As availability of quality power in the rural areas, is not assured, battery is used as power back-up which keeps un-interrupted power supply for the desired period. In general, the primary source for powering the telecom tower and telephone exchange is Grid supply and whenever, grid power is not available, Battery system is used as the first backup. After exhausting battery system, DG (Diesel Generator) set is used as second backup. So, diesel is used when grid power is not available and battery system is exhausted.
Converting solar energy into electricity could be the answer to the mounting power problems in the rural areas. Solar radiations represent the earth’s most abundant energy source. The perennial source of solar energy provides unlimited supply and has no negative impact on the environment. Its suitability for decentralized applications and its environment-friendly nature makes it an attractive option to supplement the energy supply from other sources. In India, the annual global solar radiation is about 5 KWh/ sq.m. per day with about 2300-3200 sun-shine hours per year. If we could install Solar Photovoltaic Cells, much of the rural exchange power needs could be met, adequately cutting down harmful greenhouse gases also.
Wind energy is another viable option. The Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) is designed for optimal operation at wind speed of 10-14 metre/sec. The Turbine Generator starts at a cut-in speed of 3-3.5 metre/sec and generates power at speeds of 4.5 metre/sec and above. In India the best wind speed is available during monsoon from May to September and low wind speed during November to March. The annual national average wind speed considered is 5-6 m/s. Wherever average wind speed of 4.5 m/s. and above is available it is also an attractive option to supplement the energy supply. 1 KW WTG generates around 3 units (KWhr) per day.
Hybrid Wind-Solar System for the rural exchanges can make an ideal alternative in areas where wind velocity of 5-6 m/s is available. Solar-wind power generations are clear and non-polluting. Also they complement each other. During the period of bright sun-light the solar energy is utilized for charging the batteries, creating enough energy reserve to be drawn during night, while the wind turbine produce most of the energy during monsoon when solar-power generation is minimum. Thus the hybrid combination uses the best of both means and can provide quality, stable power supply for sustainable development in rural areas.
The Electrical wing of DoT is involved in Operational and Monitoring aspects of the use of Renewable Energy and reduction of Carbon footprints in telecom networks.