SCTE Goes Green to Harden Biz Services

The SCTE, working with Alpha Technologies and CommScope, has unveiled a prototype powering system for hardened cable business services that leverages environmentally friendly technologies for continued availability during lengthy power interruptions. At S...

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The SCTE, working with Alpha Technologies and CommScope, has unveiled a prototype powering system for hardened cable business services that leverages environmentally friendly technologies for continued availability during lengthy power interruptions.

At SCTE HQ in Exton, PA, an expanded clean energy solution has been installed that integrates solar and hydrogen fuel cell technology to provide an average of five to seven days -- or more given hydrogen replenishment -- of power for critical systems. Designed to enable the SCTE to maintain constituent services during major power outages, the system is also intended to help build cable's overall knowledge base around backup powering.

In an interview, SCTE President/CEO Mark Dzuban told BTR: "There's no moving parts. It requires very little maintenance, and the only output into the environment is water. It's green, but it has a very good case from a business perspective because it allows SCTE and those that apply this form of technology to have the power assumption in their network operations hardened so that there is little fear of losing power."

Aligned with the SCTE's Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI) objectives, the 19.7 kW hybrid power system combines a newly installed 8 kW hydrogen fuel cell solution from CommScope with a 2.8 kW grid interactive solar array and 20-hour runtime storage batteries installed by Alpha. Intelligent controls from Alpha and OutBack Power, an Alpha company, manage the generation and storage capabilities of all sources when public utility power is unavailable.

In the SCTE system, the fuel cell, solar array and batteries are integrated into a grid interactive power system. The Alpha Power System includes both a charge controller and inverter to balance the power delivered to the batteries. When the grid is down, fluctuations in voltage will be measured to maintain the power necessary for SCTE's critical IT needs. When combined with an 11.28 kW array installed by Alpha last year, SCTE is capable of generating an estimated 23,333 kW hours of solar power.

All that capacity has an added opex advantage: The SCTE can sell excess power back to the grid. "During one full cycle of peak sun, we actually sell about 17,000 watts back to the utility," Dzuban said. "We've sold megawatts back to the utility already."

The SCTE is documenting the entire process, and a white paper on the deployment will be presented at the next SEMI meeting in Dallas. It's planned as a feature of the Green Pavilion at this year's Cable-Tec Expo as well.
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