Smart, clean power
Clean Power Systems provides cost effective, clean power products that reduce operating expenses for mobile networks.
Writer Ian Armitage
Project manager Ben Weaver
Africa is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile providers. According to research by the UK's Informa Telecoms & Media, the continent has now, in fact, achieved status as the world's second-largest mobile market. There are more than 760 million mobile subscribers and with market penetration around 68 percent, there is still plenty of room for growth.
In just four years, Informa believes Africa could have as many as 1.19 billion mobile subscribers.
U.S.- headquartered Clean Power Systems (CPS) -- a firm with a fast-growing presence in Africa -- is currently providing clean and reliable energy services and products to the industry.
"Clean Power Systems provides cost effective, clean power products that reduce operating expenses for mobile networks by over 60 percent," says William Bubenicek, Managing Director of Clean Power Systems.
CPS provides "end-to-end power solutions" and there is "vast potential" for the business in a continent that "carries high operating expenses" and often has serious power problems.
"Because mobile networks must maintain 99 percent reliable power for cell towers, the emerging market networks rely primarily on diesel generators to power their cell towers," Bubenicek explains. "We utilise our software products to effectively capture data, system design, and implementation planning. Our focus is on standardising the methodology to allow for high volume implementation and allowing cost saving benefits to be achieved rapidly. The bottom line is that CPS provides its customers with 60 percent or more in OPEX savings, and reduction of CO2 emissions, by utilising a complimentary suite of products to provide our customer with true end-to- end solutions."
The internet boom is one of the key drivers in Africa's mobile boom - more people are getting online as smartphone prices fall and operators improve their networks, building new base stations to improve coverage and add capacity to the networks.
"Our core markets are in Africa and the Middle East," Bubenicek adds, before explaining that mobile operators "rely on" companies like CPS to improve revenues and reduce costs. "Mobile networks must reduce their operating expenses due to increased competition, market saturation and lowering average revenues per user," he says.
However – and despite the obvious advantages – mobile networks are yet to "fully embrace" the technologies. "Although the technology exists and has been proven, mobile networks have not yet fully adopted these technologies and therefore not yet realised the full benefits of large-scale implementation of clean power systems.
"The benefits that our customers receive go beyond the technology. Rather, CPS provides a process that allows for custom system design for the entire network, as well as an implementation and training process that allows the customer to benefit from large OPEX savings across their full network."
CPS's Intelligent AVR system cleans up poor grid conditions to keep the site powered by AC Mains rather than running on diesel generators.
By minimising generator runtime, the system saves costs associated with diesel fuel and generator maintenance. Typical runtime reductions exceed 70 percent and these systems pay for themselves in less than eight months, Bubenicek says.
"Our Hybrid System reduces generator runtime on off-grid sites," he adds. "We cycle the site load between a battery bank and generator. Typical runtime savings exceed 60 percent and pay for themselves in less than 12 months.
"Our Remote Performance Monitoring System (RPMS) is a standard part of any hardware system we provide. The RPMS provides our customers with real-time viewing of site conditions, performance of the system, savings, reports, graphs and alarms for any issues on site.
"Our PassiveAudit™ software tool provides our customers with a process for data capture and allows our customers to perform system designs internally, with ROI and financial analysis based on performance predictions. This allows them to make more informed decisions on what systems are appropriate to achieve maximum cost-benefit on their investments. This software also provides site scoping and an implementation plan to allow for rapid deployment."
CPS continues to grow its presence in Africa. In the last 12 months, it has implemented over 200 systems across the continent and continues to expand.
"We have had marked success in developing and training local subcontractors who can provide the customers with rapid implementation of the systems to give maximum savings in the shortest period of time," Bubenicek says. "Our highest demand has been in our Intelligent AVR products (Stability Series) as the grid is so unreliable in most markets. Customers have achieved savings of over 90 percent in many cases and the RPMS provide our customers with a single platform to view site performance whether on our Hybrid system or our Intelligent AVR system."
He is excited by the future.
"The industry is now ready for large scale implementation of clean power products. The technology has been proven and as CPS continues to develop tools and systems aimed at large-scale implementation, we are seeing larger requests and orders for systems across networks. The opportunity is significant and we are at a tipping point."
CPS is focused on "perfecting its model and tools" in the African markets, investing in software, and seeing new opportunities and demand for its products.
"We are dedicated to standardising the industry on the methodologies that we have utilised and proven on the ground. Our expansion plans include Latin America in the next 12-18 months as well," Bubenicek concludes. "As the CPS team is all from the telecoms space, we are well positioned to serve this industry. Additionally, our products and services have been designed specifically for the telecoms space and our customers appreciate this customised approach to the industry."
To learn more visit www.clean-power-systems.com.