Optus co-develops battery solution with Eltek to improve communications resiliency

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Optus co-develops battery solution with Eltek to improve communications resiliency

Optus has teamed up with Delta Electronics (Australia) to develop a battery solution to keep critical transmission hub equipment powered continuously.

Called the Yes! CPX (Critical Power eXtender), the solution helps ensure transmission hubs provide dependent downstream mobile sites an extra 10 to 20 hours’ continuity of service when the transmission hub’s main grid power fails.

The solution was unveiled following nine months of consultation and five successful trial installations with both Optus and Delta (through brand Eltek) rolling out the units to 40 sites as the initial part of the broader Optus 2022 Transmission Hub Resiliency project.

Optus managing director for networks Lambo Kanagaratnam said the extra time provided by the Yes! CPX can make all the difference to those relying on telecommunications services.

“The 10 to 20 hours can give power authorities the time to restore services or allow Optus to access a site safely with a portable generator, especially if the area is impacted by extreme weather or natural disaster,” Kanagaratnam said.

“We prioritise our efforts to improve the resiliency of our network, knowing customers need our services to be reliable, especially during incidents and extreme events. Time and time again, we are challenged, such as by Victoria’s recent extreme weather and related power outages, which impact communications.”

Yes! CPX monitors the existing battery backup for the critical transmission hub equipment, and when it detects the existing batteries near depletion, kicks in to provide another 10-20 hours back up power for the critical hub equipment, depending on the equipment’s configuration and load.

It also combines switching smarts, along with high power density lithium-ion batteries to extend the existing power back up to the hub’s transmission equipment. It is placed in a transmission rack with the critical hub equipment and does not require the extra time or cost to engage an electrician for 240V AC works.

“Motivated by our desire to keep customers connected, Optus employees have conceptualised an innovative solution that will keep transmission for connected mobile services on longer,” Kanagaratnam added.

“Every tower in our network is ‘critical’ – particularly to those whose coverage relies on it. About a third of our towers are transmission hubs, meaning other sites rely on it and if power to a hub site goes down, connectivity to many other sites may also go down. So, we are starting our installation at these transmission hub sites.”

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