Towards zero grid electricity networking: Powering BSs with renewable energy sources
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In this paper we study cellular access networks which solely rely on renewable energy. We consider a cellular network in which a mesh of base stations (BSs) that are powered with renewable sources, and interconnected with wireless backhaul links, cover the service area, and provide connection to few, typically remote, wired network accesses to the national and international backbone. In particular, we study how to dimension BS power generators and energy storage. We start by discussing the BS energy need, that depends on both the BS consumption model and the BS traffic profiles. Focusing then on some specific locations, we consider the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels, and dimension them based on the daily energy need of the BS and on typical radiative power of sun in the considered locations. Once the PV system has been dimensioned, we also evaluate the energy storage capacity that is needed to absorb energy production variability due to both daily and seasonal radiative power variations. Finally, we investigate the effectiveness of integrating the PV system with wind turbines, as well as the benefit induced on the system by base station sleep modes.