Orange has set up a new mobile relay station 250 kilometres from Dakar that is 100% powered by a solar generator. This represents the 200th such station deployed by Orange in the Africa-Middle East-Asia (AMEA) region. The use of solar energy is enables isolated populations, without any power supply, to access the mobile network.
With this innovative mobile engineering program, Orange is increasing mobile coverage in rural areas while continuing to work towards its target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. For the AMEA region, this is reflected in the ambition to take the percentage of solar energy in its networks’ power supply up to 25% by 2015.
In addition to bringing the energy bill down, these facilities are also simpler to put in place and less expensive to operate than traditional solutions based on air conditioned buildings and power generators, whose fuel supplies and maintenance can be problematic. They also offer greater reliability and therefore a considerably improved quality of service.
The solar panels collect solar energy during the day and convert it into electrical power. A regulator charges up the solar batteries, which have an average storage capacity of up to four days. The objective is to be able to power the mobile network equipment so that it can handle calls and route communications during both the day and the night. The type of equipment selected by Orange is designed to operate outside, with a simple ventilation system replacing the air conditioning. The system’s design makes it possible to not only reduce energy consumption by eliminating every unnecessary watt, but also to simplify and streamline maintenance.