All it takes is one disaster to reveal the weakness of an emergency backup system in a telecommunications network.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 exposed those weaknesses, collapsing the entire communications structure along the Gulf Coast. To a lesser degree but still as serious, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 did the same thing, when one in four cell towers along the East Coast failed.
Loss of commercial power is a major threat to the telecommunications industry and its customers. Financial burden is the biggest obstacle to implementing a system to prevent outages. Following Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposed that wireless companies have backup power at all cell towers and other important critical infrastructures. The phone companies fought it, citing financial burden among other reasons. The industry won in a U.S. Appeals Court decision.
While the industry remains without government mandate on backup power systems, it is predicted there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and a concerted effort in the market and from the government to improve reliability.
Despite the challenges of expense, lack of time and expertise, measures can be taken on a company level to prevent outages brought on by either human error or natural disaster.
Every system needs to have a sound monitoring and maintenance system in place for the power supply. A loss of backup power during an outage can cause not only lost business, but also lost employee productivity and costly repairs.
The lead-acid battery arsenal used to deploy backup systems is prone to failure and premature degradation. This weakness requires continuous monitoring and maintenance.
Midtronics CELLGUARD SYSTEM-GEN-3 TELCO supports reliability of telecommunications backup systems through efficient and effective assessment of battery performance and condition.
CELLGUARD SYSTEM-GEN-3 TELCO lowers cost of ownership while providing the most thorough and easy-to-access stationary battery health, offering:
- 24/7 battery system monitoring
- Visual battery state of health recognition
- System integration flexibility with advanced notifications
- High return on investment
- System architecture and reporting capabilities
- Managed services available for in-depth analysis and consultation
- Comprehensive battery system diagnostics
There are no guarantees on battery service life.
It is crucial to maintain proper ventilation of batteries, maintain proper operating temperatures and float voltage settings.
According to IEEE Std. 1187-2013 IEEE Recommended Practice for Installation Design and Installation of Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications: for every 8.3 degree C (15 degrees F) increase in continuous operating temperature, you can expect a 50 percent reduction in service life for a VRLA battery.
Additionally, large companies with many lead acid batteries in their networks face the challenge of keeping up with replacing old and worn-out batteries.
Some companies use a battery replacement policy based solely on age (time in service). This method will not catch any premature battery failures due to manufacturing defects, batteries operating outside the manufacturer’s recommended settings, or failures due to improper shipping or installation errors.
These problems will only be revealed when commercial power is lost and your site does not hold up for the expected run time. Additionally, the time-in-service method is wasteful: Batteries operating under ideal conditions may be discarded before they have outlived their service life.
The use of CELLGUARD SYSTEM-GEN-3 TELCO supports reliability through efficient and effective assessment of battery performance and condition.
CELLGUARD SYSTEM-GEN-3 TELCO combines patented wireless communication with field-proven battery conductance analysis technology to provide proactive battery health monitoring. Further, it lowers total cost of ownership by identifying early-stage battery degradation, eliminating emergency battery replacement and reducing energy expense.
In this age of 24/7 connectivity, no telecommunication company can afford to ignore its emergency backup system.