According to BelTA the first cell tower powered by solar cells has been commissioned by the Belarusian mobile carrier velcom.
The cell tower is located in Lyuban District, Minsk Oblast near the construction site of the Nezhinsky mining and processing factory. The cell tower is powered by solar energy since no access to the power grid is available. The hybrid energy source comprises solar cells, industrial accumulators, and a diesel generator. The compact power generator can produce up to 14kW of electricity. Solar energy is also used to charge lithium-ion batteries. The batteries are designed for long-term operation in a large range of temperatures. They will keep the cell tower up and running at night and in cloudy weather. Without any other source of energy the batteries can power the cell tower for eight hours. The diesel generator will top off the batteries in winter when sunlight is harder to come by. The rest of the year the cell tower can rely on renewable energy from the solar cells. The cell tower is compliant with GSM and 3G cellular communication standards, including UMTS 900. If the experimental cell tower is successful, the practice will spread to the rest of the country.
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