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CommScope helps power CableLabs’ headend, CMTS

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:47pm
Mike Robuck

CableLabs is using hydrogen fuel cells from CommScope to provide backup power for its headend and cable modem termination system (CMTS) in its Louisville, Colo. headquarters.

CommScope said its fuel cell could provide up to 16 hours of reliable, environmentally friendly backup power. The cable industry has been working diligently towards being more energy efficient and green. CommScope’s hydrogen powered fuel cells can provide a clean backup power option for cable network head-ends and hub equipment.

“By incorporating fuel cell technology into our infrastructure, CommScope is helping CableLabs take a leadership role in demonstrating how cable operators can continue to provide business and enterprise class services in an environmentally friendly manner,” said Chris Lammers, executive vice president and chief operating officer, CableLabs.

Unlike diesel generators that use fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, the only by-products of hydrogen fuel cells are heat and water. The proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cells are housed inside an environmentally secure cabinet for outdoor deployment. The fuel cells also use less space while providing dense power backup.

“The trend is well underway within the telecommunications industry to find innovative ways to improve the reliability and environmental impact of backup power solutions,” said Anil Trehan, vice president, energy solutions, CommScope. “Operators want to reduce their carbon footprint without jeopardizing their service. CableLabs is demonstrating to the cable industry that cost effective, green energy can be a reliable solution for their backup power needs.”

Two years ago, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), Alpha Technologies and CommScope collaborated on a backup powering system that was installed in the SCTE’s Exton, Penn. headquarters.

The SCTE’s hydrogen fuel cell was called into service during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Both times, the fuel cell provided sufficient backup power until normal power was restored, according to CommScope. 

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