ATCO Electric - Telecommunications

CASE STUDIES

ATCO Electric - Telecommunications

Overview

After reviewing all the options we knew GPT's * cycle chargers were the only way to go. The company had experience with the products and proved to be extremely supportive working with us to bring the new systems online. Kendall Anderson,
Telecommunications Engineering Technologist,
Transmission and Distribution Engineering
ATCO Electric

The Situation

Atco needed a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sensitive solution to power their communications towers for transmission control.  GPT's GLOBALGharge was selected to resolve their situation. 

ATCO Electric serves more than 182,000 customers in Alberta, Canada. For the past 80 years the company has built, operated and maintained a vast system of transmission and distribution lines to deliver power to homes, communities and businesses. The consistent and efficient operation of its system is critical to the company's success. The communication towers used for transmission control are often located in remote areas without access to grid power. For these, ATCO uses a variety of continuous power systems, including reciprocating gensets and Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs).

The addition of two towers to ATCO's system in 2006 gave the company the opportunity to review its power choices for remote prime power. Their options included running grid power to the site, using TEGs, genset systems or try something new.

The Challenge

The challenge was to find a continuous power system for 1150 Watt and 2150 Watt requirements that would be reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sensitive. There was a strong preference for a propane-fuelled system.  Gentherm Global Power Technologies (GPT)* was asked to provide a remote power solution that would meet these criteria and be easily integrated into ATCO's existing system. Additionally, the solution would need to comply with federal regulations and be easily maintained by ATCO staff.

Gentherm Global Power Technologies'* (GPT) Solution

GPT recommended an integrated cycle charging system, a customized version of their GLOBALCharge product, at each tower. GLOBALCharge, is an intelligently controlled system that integrates high quality industrial generators with a station battery so that charging and discharging is optimized. The solution would extend the life of the batteries and ensure the full 10-year warranty life.

This solution was considered the most efficient option due to a low duty cycle on the prime generators. GLOBALCharge systems are able to 'load follow' meaning they automatically adjust to the power required. They are also less expensive and lower maintenance than gensets. In this case, refueling and maintenance would be required only once a year.

Finally, GPT's solution was propane-fuelled, eliminating the need for on-site diesel storage and the risk of soil contamination. This met with ATCO's environmental objectives.

Timing

The systems were delivered to ATCO within 16 weeks of the order.

Results

The installation was considered a success as the GLOBALCharge systems were operating prior to tower erection. ATCO was grateful to GPT for their responsiveness and help overcoming regulatory hurdles. And as a service to ATCO, GPT offered to remotely monitor the sites for a period of time to ensure the system is operating properly. This will ensure warranty compliance on the batteries.

For more information on GLOBALcharge see the YouTube video or our GLOBALCharge information page
*Formerly Global Thermoelectric

Gentherm Global Power Technologies*(GPT)  Remote power products are designed for a minimum 20-year service life.


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*Formerly:
 Global Thermoelectric