Mobile Telecom Station Powered Via Solar

We don’t think about it much in the developed world, but mobile telecommunications require more than the power that’s in your phone. Base stations need juice, too – and in many areas, established electricity sources just aren’t available. That’s the opportunity Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) and Boston-Power are trying to step into with a newly announced compact solar-power base station.

Key selling points for this enhanced VNL WorldGSM are: the ease with which the base stations can be put in place – in less than half a day, according to VNL; the ability of the Boston-Power lithium-ion battery to function in extreme climates, avoiding the need for air-conditioning or shelter; and three-day energy storage capability to make it through cloudy periods.

Solar powered telecommunications base station, VNL WorldGSM

image via VNL

The companies said the system, reported on by CNET, is now undergoing testing, but that “larger scale deployment is expected to start in various geographies in 2011.”

By the way, the collaboration between these two companies suggests that the World Economic Forum in Davos is more than a junket for the tech cognoscente: They hooked up, the companies said, as a direct result of Rajiv Mehrotra, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of VNL, and Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud, founder and CEO of Boston-Power, being introduced after each won 2010 Technology Pioneer Awards at Davos.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.