Project White Amber
4G and 5G base stations are considered critical infrastructure and require power supply at all times. Batteries are used in many base stations to ensure continuity of operation in the event of a break in power supply from the main grid. They are also used to store power from nearby renewable energy resources (e.g., wind turbines and solar panels) and to store power purchased from the grid at discounted rates (e.g., at night) for use during periods of high cost electricity supply.
Power distribution between central base stations and satellite stations using remote power feeds enables optimization of the positioning of batteries for access, maintenance and security. Large batteries can be stacked in a central location supplying power throughout a group of nearby base stations.
Battery technology is constantly improving, driven in large part by the rapid growth of the electric vehicle market that relies on new ~400VDC battery technologies to maximize the travel between recharges. This together with the fact that the ~400VDC power technology is also more efficient for remote power feeds 4G and 5G base stations means that there is an increasingly better understood opportunity to replace current 48VDC legacy batteries with electric vehicle batteries (EVBs) both new and refurbished as part of the shift to a circular economy.
Because EVBs need constant health monitoring during their lifetimes to protect against very rare cases of internal faults and resulting thermal runaway, they are connected to cloud services via their host vehicles. For such large scale monitoring of hundreds of millions of EVBs on the road, Web3 technologies are needed to provide each battery with a self-sovereign digital identity that is used throughout its lifetime. This digital identity holds proofs of details regarding its ‘birth’, its composition and specifications, its maintenance history, its host environment and finally its decommissioning or refurbishment for a new environment.
This approach in the mobility industry can be applied in the mobile and telecom areas to mitigate power blackouts in critical power infrastructure where current solutions typically support around 30 minutes of operation without the grid.
The technology developed by MOBI’s Citopia for EVB management in mobile environments can be repurposed for EVBs in the 4G and 5G base station environment. MEF LSO APIs can be used by cellular networks operators to ensure streamlined information transfer between stakeholders involved in the EVB’s lifecycle in the 4G and 5G environment. This, together with new remote power feed solutions can revolutionize the power infrastructure of cellular base stations and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and scalable use of power in this ecosystem.
The White Amber project will develop key deliverables that can be used by cellular network operators to enhance their 4G/5G power infrastructure strategies.