Telstra Deploys First Fuel Cell System as Backup Power at Base Station Exchange Site in Australia
Telstra's major strength is providing integrated telecommunications services in with an extensive network infrastructure. Making certain that its cell towers operate reliably with no disruption in service is a critical concern. Telstra decided to test alternative power sources and use fuel cells to provide clean and reliable extended backup power reducing the number of battery strings and diesel generators. Telstra needed to find a solution that reduced carbon emissions and provided reliable extended run backup power for its remote sites. In July 2009, Telstra chose IdaTech's ElectraGen XTi System from KD Fisher, IdaTech's international distribution partner in Australia. After successfully completing extensive technical field test requirements, the unit was then moved to Dixons Creek, Victoria, for installation. IdaTech's ElectraGen XTi fuel cell system was developed specifically to provide critical backup power for the telecom market. The ElectraGen XTi system includes a fuel processor that converts methanol and water liquid fuel into hydrogen gas to power the unit. By generating its own hydrogen as needed, the requirement for delivery and storage of bottled hydrogen is eliminated. The ElectraGen XTi fuel cell is ideal for extended run backup power in Australia's remote geographic location, where fuel delivery is difficult and expensive. Within 24 hours of installation at the test site, a power failure occurred and the fuel cell system responded by generating 1.5 hours of backup power.