GreenShelter for telecom applications. A new generation of shelters for telecom applications integrating fuel cell electric backup and a new cooling approach

Giuseppe Gianolio, Ilaria Rosso, Luca Mercante, Francesco Pedrazzo, Giuseppe Simonato, Franco Ceriani
Intelec 2008, San Diego, USA // 14 – 18 September 2008

A new generation of shelter for telecom application has been designed and manufactured. The basic approach was to overcome the limit of the current technology regarding cooling needs and energy consumption as well as maintenance costs and backup autonomy. In this perspective the following elements have been considered: to implement an active cooling with very low energy consumption or passive cooling, to backup the apparatus with fuel cell based power system, to integrate as much as possible both the technologies. Shelter cooling without air conditioning is possible with free-cooling and phase changing materials (PCM). Fuel cell based power systems give advantages in terms of wide range of accepted working temperature (from -5°C to 45 °C) and very low maintenance needs.

The fuel cell based power systems have been tested by several different Telecom operators but up to now very small activities have been performed for a complete integration into the shelter. In this application a 3 kW power system provides 24 hours of autonomy to all the equipments installed in the shelter. To accomplish to a complete integration work a new generation of power system has been generated: the new release consist in a 19’’ core component equipped with fuel cell, power management and control system and a separated thermal split to dissipate the heat generated during the working time (backup). The result is a new generation of shelter with very interesting specifications. Experimental tests on the manufactured GreenShelter are in progress. Preliminary results confirm that in the same conditions of temperature and heat dissipation, the energetic gain of the GreenShelter solution can be up to 70% with respect to a traditional shelter with air conditioning. Not less important, the gain in terms of CapEx and OpEx could assest around 10% and 50-70%, respectively.

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