Dimensioning the Power Supply of a LTE Macro BS Connected to a PV Panel and the Power Grid
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The use of solar energy to power base stations of cellular networks is becoming increasingly interesting, in both areas where the power grid is not present or not reliable, and where the power grid is ubiquitous and reliable, but energy costs keep growing. In this paper, we investigate the dimensioning of the photovoltaic panel and energy storage of a hybrid base station powering system that can exploit both solar and grid energy. The objective of the dimensioning is the minimization of the total capital and operational expenditures over a period of 10 years, accounting for the evolution of technology and traffic load. Results show that in a south European city like Torino, a hybrid base station powering system allows significant cost and size reductions, with respect to the case of solar energy only (and of a diesel power generator), and roughly equals the cost of the grid-only case in 8-9 years. When the extra energy produced by the solar panel can be sold back to the grid, the hybrid systems allow significant savings with respect to the grid-only case. For the city of Aswan, with a production that is much higher than in Torino and more constant over the year, costs of pure solar and hybrid systems are significantly lower in absolute terms; hybrid systems result to be still advantageous with respect to pure solar systems.