How Used Diesel Generators Enable Telecom Companies to Keep The Telephones Ringing

By: Irvin Schneck

The very nature of telecommunications ensures that its systems and reliability will never be easy to provide. Anyone working within the telecom industry understands that one of their greatest challenges will be to keep the cell tower sites powered and ready for service.

In some cases, the problem is getting power to the work site in order to actually build and power the cell tower. Getting work crews and equipment to the building site is generally a tough process, due mostly to the remoteness of cell phone tower locations. In some cases, the cell tower sites will be in the mountains or deep woods.

With the very remoteness of most building sites, having the electric companies string new power lines to the locations might be a process that will take weeks or months. But, progress cannot wait on the power company to get their new lines strung to the work site. Instead, the cell phone tower construction crews must make assurances that they will have the full amount of electric power they need, when they need it. This is the very reason why the construction industry relies so heavily on diesel power generator sets (or gensets) at their work sites.

As more cell towers are built, more consumers come to rely upon those new towers. This is the power of progress as we move forward. When the towers were originally erected, maybe only a few hundred people benefited from those towers coming online. But down the road one year, two years or five years, thousands or tens or thousands of consumers will notice when those towers break down.

This is why telecom providers have found it necessary to foresee worst-case scenarios and prepare contingency plans to address those scenarios. Natural disasters are the most common reason why electric utility services break down, so they are the most frequent scenarios for contingency plans.

* Oklahoma saw this kind of disaster on May 3rd, 1999, when a F5 tornado swept through Central Oklahoma and into the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

* At various times, utility and telecommunication companies in Canada and most of the United States, including those in the Deep South, have had to confront major system repairs in the aftermath of an ice storm. Under the weight of the frozen sleet on power lines, most power poles simple collapsed under the enormous weight of the ice.

* In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, bringing devastation to homes, businesses and the entire infrastructure in the region. Although much of the infrastructure in the Gulf States has been returned to pre-Katrina status, the business and residential areas are still widely in a state of perpetual flux.

In all of these natural disasters, the infrastructure took a heaving pounding. Electric, natural gas, and cable companies suffered heavy losses. The telecommunications industry also suffered heavy losses with the loss of power to nearly the entire infrastructure, and they also lost a few towers. Despite the loss of many cell towers to these disasters, the greatest loss to telecommunication revenues was the loss of electrical power to the cell phone towers.

In many instances, the cell towers could have continued delivering essential communications support to rescue crews, had telecoms employed more power generators at their cell tower sites.

Diesel power generators tend to be used most often in remote locations or mobile gensets. Natural gas gensets are better employed at factories and other stationary buildings within the current natural gas infrastructure.

Facing the challenge of keeping essential power flowing does not need to be a daunting task. 2000 kW diesel generators are able to provide all of the power needed in most situations. Because diesel engine gensets are long lasting and reliable, the obvious choice for many experts in the telecom industry is to locate and invest in used diesel generators, to provide the backup power supplies they need for their cell phone towers.

Some who are reading this are likely to wonder why they should purchase a used diesel generator when they could rent or lease one that is new. Others will recognize the following benefits immediately:

1. Gensets built with a diesel engine are made to last. The engines run at a low RPM level, they are water-cooled and, as a result, they run tens of thousands of hours before requiring a significant amount of maintenance or repair work. When some companies inevitably go under, low-hour diesel generators become available at significantly reduced prices. By buying low-hour diesel generators, most purchases are able to gain all of the benefits of having a new genset, but at a lower price.

2. Purchasing a used diesel generator is often more cost-effective than renting a new generator for a set amount of time. The benefit here is used low-hour generators are just as efficient as their new counterparts, but are less expensive and the savings add up quickly.

3. Because large gensets, such as 2000 kW diesel generators are mounted on a trailer, they are tow ready and you can put them where you need them, when you need them. When one owns a used diesel generator, they will not have to ask permission or re-negotiate a contract with the supplier if they need to move the electric generator to a different work site.

When buying cars and trucks, it frequently makes more sense to invest in brand-new vehicles, but when buying a diesel power generator, used is frequently the better choice. Low-hour diesel generators are much cheaper than new units; they permit their owners more flexibility in their use – flexibility that they cannot rely on while leasing equipment; and used diesel generator sets will be as reliable as any of the new genset units.

The best advantage of buying diesel power generators to supply the energy needs of a cell phone tower is that the telecom managers can put aside any concerns they may have about keeping power to their cell towers, enabling the telecom managers to focus their time and attention on those matters that will help them to improve their services and increase their profits.

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Irvin Schneck writes about customer retention. US Power and Environment is a leading provider of used diesel gensets worldwide. They provide delivery, setup and onsite equipment maintenance and repair. Through US Power Co Com you can buy a used diesel generator or natural gas generator from an large inventory including Cummins, Generac, Baldor and Cat generators.

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