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Wrap-around solar panels to power radio antenna

ericsson-eco-smartEricsson and Telecom Italia are testing an innovative solar power system designed for developed areas with minimal space for photovoltaic installations.

The first of its kind in Europe, the “Eco-Smart” solar-powered base station site in Italy “wraps” around a radio antenna,  meaning it requires no more space than a non-solar site would. Based on flexible solar panels, such a strategy is crucial for reducing operator costs in areas where land is at a premium, according to Ericsson.

The trial is being carried out in the Italian city of L’Aquila, where G8 leaders are meeting this week to discuss — among other topics — climate change.

According to Ericsson, the trial aims to prove that solar solutions represent a sustainable business case for operators in developed countries. As energy costs can account for up to 50 per cent of a site’s operating expenses, Eco-Smart can help operators make significant cost savings while reducing CO2 emissions, the company says.

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