Digital Power: Defining Your Target Energy Network


July 8, 2020


At the LA Digital Power Summit 2020 last month, Zhou Taoyuan, the President of Huawei’s Digital Product Line, outlined how Huawei’s solutions integrate digital power technology to convert, store, and control electric energy. In turn, this enables Huawei to provide simple, reliable, green, and smart digital power solutions that can underpin the burgeoning digital world. To reflect our network energy strategy, Zhou announced the renaming of the Huawei Network Energy Product Line to the Huawei Digital Power Product Line.

This post gives leads on from this to introduce what network operators need to think about when defining their target energy networks, including barriers and current problems.

According to the United Nation’s Digital Economy Report 2019, the wide application of digital technology has propelled society into the digital era – an era that will profoundly change life, society, and economic models.


But, what will power this future? What solutions can ensure that digital technology operates with the efficiency and reliability that in turn form a strong foundation of the digital world?

First let’s look at the barriers.

Energy Infrastructure Construction Lacks an Overall Strategy

In a digital world where everything is sensing, connected, and intelligent, the application of 5G, cloud, AI, and big data will bring a series of challenges to energy infrastructure construction.

1.    Power: A 5G site will typically increase the power consumption by 4–5 kW.  In China, 80% of newly added 5G sites need reconstruction, which means long deployment times and high costs. OPEX can double due to the increase in site numbers and power consumption.

2.   Space: Access, aggregation, and core equipment rooms need higher capacity, but current equipment rooms tend to be more than a decade old. Space, load-bearing, and wiring are already hitting their limit and expansion is difficult. The large number of equipment rooms, means large investment and long construction period.

3.  Data: The increasing use of cloud, big data and AI in turn requires more data centers. The traditional data center infrastructure requires a long construction period and high energy consumption, which is difficult to meet demand for the fast roll out of online services.

4.   Dumb: A large number of dumb devices in existing energy infrastructure, requiring multi-times site visiting and difficult to O&M.

A Network-Wide View

Huawei combines power electronics and digital technologies to create its “target energy network” concept. An energy strategy should be developed from the network-wide point of view, including access, aggregation, core equipment rooms, and data centers. This can support customers deploy 5G without increasing OPEX and reduce TTM by more than 50% for data centers. The features of a target energy network features are as below:

1.    Future-oriented Evolution

To support 5G site construction for telecom sites, we offer a one site, one cabinet and one site, one blade solution. For data centers, elastic architecture can meet cabinet power expansion requirements and support future evolution.

2.    Simplified Delivery and O&M

For access sites and equipment rooms, we use the eMIMO modular platform. When operators deploy 5G, they don’t need to change the mains supply, cabinets, power distribution and cables, equipment rooms, or engineering. This enables fast delivery and on-demand deployment and reduces initial investment. For data centers, modularization and prefabrication can enable simplified delivery and shorten service TTM.

3.    Autonomous Driving Networks

AI and big data can achieve the visualization of site and data center energy infrastructure and intelligent and automated O&M; i.e., autonomous driving networks.

4.    Going Green

We prioritize solar energy and AI technology to implement green power supply and maximize energy-savings of sites and data centers.

Further Reading:

  1. 5 Ways 5G Will Protect the Planet & How You Can Help
  2. Visit the Environmental Protection page of our 2019 Sustainability Report for more information on how we’re using technology to protect the planet.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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