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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Telecom towers and their power

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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 09/12/17 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some years back when we owned mountain top property, we leased a spot to a cell tower company. After the tower was up, they installed a propane fueled generator for backup power, and used it as the primary power for the month or so it took for the power company/contractor to get the buried power line in place. The propane company installed two 100 gallon tanks initially, but after the power line was in place, they took one tank away. Other then the initial setup and delivery, we never saw the propane company again until they came to top off one tank and take the other one away, so that was about a 30 day run 24/7. I don't know how far down the second tank was when they topped it off, but I would guess the single tank could run the site for 15-20 days anyway. Of course that would be useless if the supporting infrastructure for the individual carriers was also down.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 09/12/17 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

landyacht318 wrote:

I assume cell phone towers have generators, and battery backup for when the generators run out of gas.


Bad assumption.. NOT all towers are so equipped.

And no standards that I am aware of though each company may have a policy for those towers so equipped.

In the 1970's back before Cell Phones became popular.. We had a major power fail when a generator at Niagra failed and took out half the USA and a good part of Canada.. The power companies crossed their corporate hearts and told us they would install safety gear to make sure that never happened again.. As you may recall. IN the 2000s (abou 4 or 5) it happened again. Only this time it was a plant in Ohio (Michigan originally got blamed but it was Ohio). Turns out the power companies LIED, So they have once again promised.

But in the latter fail many cell towers went down due to lack of back up power as well. We had back up power where I worked, but that was only because I had my own personal back up.


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MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 09/12/17 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To keep my Kubota operational in tropical storm conditions was a real challenge. The structure air inlet is a concrete block baffle with a DeVries 375 watt (1/2 hp) squirrel cage fan. The radiator push fan also exits into a baffle. The 375 watt fan is so strong when it starts it makes the ears pop. With the entrance door closed. It pushes a noticeable amount of air out of the radiator port. I seriously doubt they would be so elaborate with a MW site power plant. Even partially loaded the Kubota eats in excess of 12 gallons of fuel per 24 hours. Not even a whisper of the power requirements of a MW site.

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 09/12/17 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Life At A Tower Is Not Easy





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TurnThePage

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Posted: 09/12/17 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The solar panels on my trailer came from a fire damaged remote cell tower. They seem to have pretty good backup systems, at least here in the northwest.


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vermilye

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Posted: 09/12/17 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was at the top of Steens Mountain (southwest Oregon) yesterday & saw the propane tank farm used by an AT&T tower. No idea how long it would last, but they sure had lots of tanks! (by the way, I do wonder how they get the tanks filled - very steep rocky road to the tanks that probably needs a 4 wheel drive to get there, although with the steel framework around the tanks, maybe they air lift the entire set of tanks. Ever see a 4 wheel drive propane delivery truck?

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NinerBikes

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Posted: 09/12/17 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, a General ham radio license is a good option, if all involved have one, know how to use it, and have hf radios. Morse Code CW is good to know during such times.

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 09/12/17 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tanks are dropped by helicopter.


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skipro3

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Posted: 09/12/17 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The steel framework is for snow load. Water in snow is heavy and could damage the pipe work. The steel forms a 'bridge'.


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mbopp

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Posted: 09/12/17 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Working for a telco, I can state that not all cell towers have backup.
Side note - we had a localized power outage so I had my house running on my Honda 2000 generator. I know for a fact the Central Office my land line is out of has both generator and battery backup. So my dsl worked and we were watching Netflix, drinking wine, and reading the neighborhood FB page about how everybody was burning their cellular data minutes since the cable tv & internet were out.


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