Feeds

DoCoMo tests blackout-proof hydrogen cell base station in Japan

Ready for the next tsunami

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nokia Siemens Networks, working with Ballard Power Systems, has delivered a cellular base station with an integrated hydrogen cell that replaces battery- or generator-based backup during a power outage.

The base station has been installed at DoCoMo's research site in Japan’s Yokosuka Research Park and can operate for 40 hours in the absence of mains electricity, with the hydrogen fuel cell delivering 4.5KW of electricity. The idea is to provide backup power, without needing the regular maintenance of a generator or taking up the space of lead-acid batteries.

Cabinet with fuel cell

In the UK, most base stations only have batteries to keep them operational for an hour or two, and there's no obligation on the operators to keep infrastructure operational, but the Japanese tsunami focused attention on the question. Meanwhile, in the US, legislators are starting to wonder if battery backups shouldn't be mandated for cell sites.

US Senator Charles Schumer has written an open letter to the FCC chair asking that the regulator create a proper plan for keeping network infrastructure running in an emergency. His letter points out that a third of New York households rely exclusively on cellular networks, and that Hurricane Sandy knocked out a quarter of the cell sites it passed, mostly by cutting off their power.

Fuel cells can run base stations for a lot longer than batteries, though they'll still need somewhere to connect to. Both the Japanese tsunami and the US storm knocked out control centres, leaving base stations with nowhere to go even if they had been supplied with power, but recovery might have been faster if there had been a little more hydrogen in the mix. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.