VelaTel Subsidiary VN Tech Advances Plans for Fuel Cell Technology in China’s Telecommunications Industry

26 Jul 2012

China phoneVelaTel Global Communications, a global supplier and operator of wireless broadband and telecommunication networks, has announced that its fuel cell technology subsidiary VN Technologies has completed its initial round of test trials for China Mobile Limited. Fuel cell backup power was tested at sites in Heilongjiang/Harbin.

China Mobile has now submitted a comprehensive report of the test trial results to key ministries of China’s Central Government. Meanwhile, China Telecom Corporation has also commissioned VN Tech to construct trial test sites in Beijing on its behalf.

China Mobile is the largest mobile telephone operator worldwide with 650 million subscribers. China Telecom is China’s largest fixed-line telephone company, and also provides data, multimedia and other telecommunications and information services to more than 200 million subscribers. Both companies deploy thousands of telecommunications base transceivers and other infrastructure that requires back-up power. Fuel cell technology offers a number of benefits over traditional solutions such as batteries in these applications.

For example, says VNTech, backup power for a modern wireless base transceiver station (BTS) typically relies on a lithium-ion or other rechargeable battery that costs $2,500-$3,500 and weighs approximately 350 kg. These BTS batteries draw electrical power to maintain their charge, require periodic maintenance and replacement every two to three years (with environmental burdens related to disposal), and have a backup storage capacity of only 4 hours before needing to be supplemented by diesel or gasoline generators. Hydrogen fuel cell systems have a higher initial cost, but very little maintenance, do not require separate cooling systems, last indefinitely, and the fuel source is compact enough to be stored on site in quantities sufficient for a prolonged power outage.

VelaTel has also announced that China’s Communications Standards Association has appointed a member of its team to head the technical committee that will develop national standards and specifications for the use of hydrogen fuel cells in the telecommunication industry.  After adoption, these standards will also be submitted to the Telecommunications Standards Sector of the International Telecommunication Union.

References and Further information: VelaTel and VN Tech

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