Impact of Distributed Energy Resources on the Reliability of a Critical Telecommunications Facility

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Telecommunications has been identified by the Department of Homeland Security as a critical infrastructure to the United States. Failures in the power systems supporting major telecommunications service nodes are a main contributor to major telecommunications outages, as documented by analyses of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outage reports by the National Reliability Steering Committee(under auspices of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions). There are two major issues that are having increasing impact on the sensitivity of the power distribution to telecommunication facilities: deregulation of the power industry, and changing weather patterns. A logical approach to improve the robustness of telecommunication facilities would be to increase the depth andbreadth of technologies available to restore power in the face of power outages. Distributed energy resources such as fuel cells and gas turbines could provide one more onsite electric power source to provide backup power, if batteries and diesel generators fail. But does the diversity in power sources actually increase the reliability of offered power to the office equipment, or does thecomplexity of installing and managing the extended power system induce more potential faults and higher failure rates? This report analyzes a system involving a telecommunications facility consisting of two switch-bays and a satellite reception system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages78
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Joint report with Sandia National Laboratories

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-620-39561

Other Report Number

  • SAND2006-1277


  • distributed energy resources (DER)
  • electric power
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • fuel cells
  • gas turbines
  • homeland security
  • null
  • power outages
  • power systems
  • Sandia National Laboratory (SNL)
  • telecommunications


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