Over the past 12-months Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra), Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company, has been assessing alternative energy solutions to help power its wireless network – including fuel cells.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Over the past 12-months Telstra Corporation Limited (Telstra, Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company, has been assessing alternative energy solutions to help power its wireless network – including fuel cells, with the support of K.D. Fisher & Co. Pty. Ltd., Ballard's channel partner in Australia.
Telstra currently has 9 Ballard ElectraGen™-ME fuel cell Telecom Backup Power systems deployed in its network, primarily in rural and remote locations that are prone to grid power outages.
Telstra's Experience – In a recent article posted on its website, Telstra addressed the benefits experienced as a result of using fuel cell systems in place of incumbent backup power solutions, such as diesel generators and lead-acid batteries. The benefits of fuel cells to Telstra have
Increased reliability across a wide range of operating conditions (including extreme heat and cold;
Reduced maintenance costs;
Longer operating life; and
Reduced size, weight, installation footprint, noise and environmental impacts.
Fuel Cell System Performance – A recent example underscores the Telstra experience with fuel cell systems. A mobile base station located in a residential neighborhood of Queenstown, Tasmania lost grid power due to a lightning strike. Had they been in place, battery backup at this site would have provided power for a maximum of 8-hours, and a diesel generator would have created considerable noise and required refueling during the outage. Telstra concluded that these options would have been less than ideal under the circumstances at this site.
As it happens, this particular base station was a fuel cell trial site. As a result of grid infrastructure damage suffered from the lightening strike, extended duration backup power support was required until repairs to the grid could be completed. The Ballard ElectraGen™-ME fuel cell system provided power to maintain wireless telecom service in the affected area for more than the 2-days it took to complete repairs to the grid. The fuel cell system performance represents more than 6x the
duration offered by batteries, without the noise or environmental pollution of a diesel generator.
The Result – Based on the success of the trial program, Ballard ElectraGen™ fuel cell systems are now approved as one of the standard solutions for backup power at Telstra mobile base station sites and at smaller network exchanges, where power requirements are less than 5 kilowatts. Read the full article on Telstra's website here: http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2013/10/31/morepower-
Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.