Nokia, Elisa and Efore have commercially deployed a liquid-cooled base station system in an apartment building in Helsinki, a world-first achievement that promises lower costs for operators and owners of base station sites, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.
Helsinki Business Hub played a key role by identifying the opportunity and right project partners and connecting them with each other. Helsinki Business Hub is a regional development agency whose role is to enable innovation driven companies to grow and develop in Greater Helsinki.
In the deployment, heat emitted from the base station has been redirected to heat the building, lowering energy costs. In previously conducted customer trials with the Nokia solution, Nokia Bell Labs saw a reduction of up 80.percent in CO2 emissions and up to 30 percent in energy operating expenses – significant savings for operators and other owners of base station sites. Liquid cooling permits the removal of air conditioning and fans, promising further operator savings, potentially longer base station component life and silent sites.
The Nokia Bell Labs-developed liquid-cooled base station was made at Nokia’s Oulu facility in Finland and the liquid-cooled power system was developed by power supplier Efore, with Elisa deploying the base station in Helsinki. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. evaluated the environmental impact of the liquid-cooled base station and energy usage compared to those generated by air cooling in the field.
Miska Hakala, Director from Helsinki Business Hub, said: “We are very happy to see this cooperation come true. It has been our privilege to connect Nokia, Elisa, Efore and the owners of the apartment building with each other, and play a part in enabling them to develop this unique solution. Greater Helsinki is a place where cooperation like this between companies truly is possible.”
Minna Kröger, Director, Corporate responsibility from Elisa, said: “We have set science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our effort to become an environmental leader, and we are committed to providing customers the services that enable them to act in a sustainable way. We are excited to leverage the extensive expertise of Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs for this important deployment.”
Pekka Sundström, head of the Elisa customer team at Nokia, said: “Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs have conducted extensive research and testing to explore the possibilities of using a liquid-cooled base station in an operator’s network. This first commercial deployment will enable us to understand the real-world benefits for customers such as Elisa as they transition toward 5G, and how the system can be implemented on a wider scale to help reduce the environmental impact of information and communications technology. We continue to explore ways of introducing efficiencies and reducing emissions across our portfolio, and this project marks a significant step in that journey.”
Vlad Grigore, Chief Technology Officer of Efore, said: “We are dedicated to providing efficient and reliable power supply solutions tailored to our customer’s needs. The power system pilot with MHE (Modular High Efficiency) rectifiers adapted for liquid cooling helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, with a positive impact on environment. We are enthusiastic about this development that continues our long tradition of close cooperation with Nokia.”