GE Energy Storage has secured US$63 million in orders for its Durathon battery since the business unit launched in July.
In its first weeks of operation, GE Energy Storage secured ten telecom customer orders across several regions, including Africa, Asia, India and the USA, powering a total of more than 3 500 mobile phone towers.
GE’s Durathon battery technology employs sodium nickel chloride chemistry to capture excess energy from the diesel fuel generators. When the generator is off and the battery is fully charged, it feeds the stored power back to the cell tower. This hybrid, cyclic charge/discharge operation reduces fuel consumption by up to 40%.
Megatron Federal, an engineering company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, were the first to buy Durathon batteries, taking 7 000 units in three deals. These batteries will ensure the continuous operation of telecom installations in Nigeria. They will also enable Megatron to lower both fuel consumption and emissions of diesel generator powered telecom towers by up to 50%, it says.
Prescott Logan, General Manager, GE Energy Storage said, “The technology can function in a variety of extreme conditions and store as much energy as lead-acid batteries twice its size while lasting up to ten times as long.”
With more than one billion people, and potential cell phone subscribers, living in remote areas with no accessible power grid, operators are often forced to continuously power cellular base stations using diesel fuel. This costs an average of US$20 000 to US$30 000 per site and adds more than 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.
GE Ecomagination vice president Mark Vachon said: “It is estimated that the telecom industry accounts for 2% of the total world carbon footprint and could reach an alarming 4% by 2020 if solutions aren’t implemented in the near-term.”