8 Sept 2021
Hydrogen Fuel Cells may be the Future of Powering Telecoms Remote Infrastructure
The Index Today
Hydrogen fuel cells may become the next environmental friendly power solution for telecommunication industries all over. As more companies are moving towards reducing their carbon footprint, the need for alternative energy sources is growing, especially in telecoms as these corporations require constant power to run stations, data centers and relevant infrastructure.
The first use of hydrogen fuel cells was documented in the 1800s where U.S and Russian space programs required the power source to replace pollution-generating diesel generators. Hydrogen cells have few moving parts, are substantially quiet and emit water. Uwe Lambrette at Oliver Wyman said, “They are a great concept and I think that diesel generators are on their way out.”
The United Nations issued a “code red” for humanity in August regarding global warming, thus boosting the need for eco-friendly power sources. The upcoming energy sector accounts for 3% of global energy consumption.
IT companies are known to be responsible for almost a third of carbon emissions in the telecom industry. These companies require generators for constant power supply in more than one locations. Solar and wind energy may be a suitable source but cannot be labeled as reliable, making them an unpopular energy source.
Hydrogen cells energy can be a great alternative but still has to overcome many barriers. The energy fuel can be difficult to store due to lack of infrastructure and the production costs are high, approximately 10 times more than diesel. Japan is among the first to make use of the energy fuel by providing subsidiaries and support. There are growing number of hydrogen-fuelled cars and buses in the region available to the public, with Toyota building a prototype city near Mt. Fuji.
An Israeli company, GenCell is currently working with a Japanese Telecom company to test its G5 fuel cell unit. Germany is also on track to test fuel cells with the GF in commercial use in over 12 countries.
Other renowned corporations such as Panasonic, Hitachi and Mitsubishi are working on hydrogen fuel cell projects to develop a backup power unit. However, most of these projects are still in the primary testing phase.