Energy Manage cable headend

CableLabs Uses Fuel Cell Backup Power

Energy Manage cable headendCommScope deployed its hydrogen fuel cell technology at CableLabs, the non-profit research and development consortium for the cable television industry. CableLabs wants to take a leadership role in demonstrating how cable operators can incorporate new energy technologies.

CommScope’s fuel cell at CableLabs’ headquarters in Louisville, Colo., has a capacity of 8 kW and can provide up to 16 hours of reliable backup power for CableLabs’ head-end and cable modem termination system.

The telecommunications industry is looking for ways to improve the reliability and environmental impact of its backup power solutions, without jeopardizing its services, according to CommScope whose hydrogen powered fuel cells provide an environmentally-friendly backup power solution for network sites.

Unlike diesel generators that consume fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, the only by-products of hydrogen fuel cells are heat and water. The proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cells are housed inside a secure cabinet for outdoor deployment and offer a small footprint and dense power backup, says CommScope.

This is the second time a cable industry organization has deployed CommScope’s fuel cells. The first was in 2011 when the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) deployed a similar solution to provide backup power to its data center at its headquarters in Exton, Penn. That hydrogen fuel cell was called into service during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Both times, the fuel cell provided sufficient backup power until normal power was restored.

Cable operators want to make sure they do not have a disruption in power because if an operator loses power, its cable TV and Internet subscribers lose service.

Photo Credit: NathanReed’s Flickr photostream

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