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ABSTRACT

The research described in this thesis looked at the possibility of generating electricity for mobile base stations in rural Nigeria utilizing a combination of renewable energy resources (hybrid power systems, or HPSs). The research was conducted utilizing the hybrid optimization model for electric renewables (HOMER) software for theoretical mathematical modeling and simulation. The study used a sample of eight hypothetical off-grid remote telecommunication base station (BTS) sites in different parts of Nigeria. The following areas were chosen to represent the varied climatic conditions in Nigeria: Abaji (Abuja, FCT), Nkanu-West (Enugu), Ikwerre (Rivers), Nembe (Bayelsa), Mopa-Muro (Kogi), Kauru (Kaduna), Guzamala (Borno), Tureta (Sokoto). There are eight distinct combinations (HPS choices) of four energy resources [small-hydro power, wind power, and solar power] (SHP) These are: Hybrid (Solar, Wind, and Hydro) Plus DG; Hybrid (Solar & Hydro) + DG; Hybrid (Wind & Hydro) + DG; Hydro only + DG; Hybrid (Wind & Hydro) + DG; Hydro only + DG; Hybrid (Wind & Hydro) + DG; Hydro only + DG; Hybrid (Wind & Hydro) + DG; Hydro only + DG; Total Net Present Cost (NPC) and total CO2 produced are used as indices to determine the amount of optimization for each energy solution, with the option with the highest optimization value being deemed the optimum energy solution for that base station site. The study’s quantitative findings (published here) suggest that hybrid power systems can be more cost-effective and ecologically benign than diesel generators in providing energy to BTS installations.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The findings also reveal that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for powering GSM base station sites in various locations. It all depends on the weather and the renewable energy resources that are available. This work makes a significant contribution by demonstrating (through these results) that an optimized energy map for appropriate locations of GSM Base Station sites in Nigeria can be developed, which can be used as a design guide for network operators as well as for the formulation of energy use policies by the national telecommunications regulatory authority (the NCC). One of these policies might be that any network operator planning to place a base station in any location must first produce an optimized energy feasibility study of the location before receiving approval. With the increasing spread of wireless voice and data signals into remote areas, communication services have faced a number of challenges [1]. One of the most difficult challenges that telecommunications companies face when deploying their networks is power supply. Because wealthy countries have well-established power infrastructure, this obstacle is easily overcomeable. When a national electricity grid exists in a developing country, it is always the preferred energy source for powering Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs). Unfortunately, it is not always reliable and only covers a small portion of the country.

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