Comparative Screening Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Renewable and Fossil Power Supply for a Radio Base Station Site (Pages: 21-34)

Anders S.G. Andrae

Huawei Technologies Sweden AB, Skalholtsgatan 9, 16494 Kista, Sweden




Abstract: The global energy usage driven by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) cloud services is set to soar, with the wireless cloud computing being at the core of the radio technology trend. At the same time the market for renewable energy supply is growing fast. In this context the aim of a new radio base station (RBS) site solution concept (iSite) is to optimize energy costs, speed of deployment, and site equipment such as the number of photovoltaic (PV) modules. The present study provides the first example of a screening Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) estimating the future eco-environmental benefits of iSite for support of an RBS in a South African radio access network. This study uses advanced attributional life cycle assessment (AALCA) showing the effect of changing battery type and diesel fuel markets on the results. Despite high uncertainty and best case scenario, the LCIA confirms the hypothesis that the environmental loadings and potential eco-environmental impacts will decrease when changing from traditional Site (t–Site) to i–Site. Avoiding diesel combustion and introducing an electricity efficient air cooling solution for i–Site (loop thermosyphon and DC Fan) explain the results. The AALCA based sensitivity check, including battery and diesel fuel markets, do not change the conclusion that iSite seemingly is a better solution than tSite from an eco-environmental point of view.

Keywords: Eco-environmental cost, Life cycle impact assessment, Market analysis, Radio base station site, Renewable energy supply.