Case Study – Increasing Fuel Visibility for 10K Sites for a US Mobile Network Operator

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Main Solutions Categories

  • Generator Management
  • Power Systems Control
  • HVAC Control
  • Access Control
  • Site Security
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Networking Communications
  • Legacy Alarms

Customer at a Glance

  • Industry: Telecom – Mobile Network Operator
  • Location: USA
  • Network size: 40,000 sites

Project at a Glance

  • No of sites: 10,000+
  • Project duration (# of days): 4 years
  • Installed products: More than four years to reach 10,000 sites; deployment still ongoing.
  • Included services: SiteBoss S550 Product,  Installation & Configuration, Systems Integration, and Training.
  • Team members: Dedicated team of 5 personnel collaborating with other teams to reach the business goals.
  • Main Benefit: Full visibility into generators’ fuel tank levels to prioritize the resupply process.

Case Study Introduction

Cell phone networks become critical public safety infrastructure during major natural disasters. After Hurricane Sandy in the northeastern United States, many cell site locations were forced to operate on backup power sources for up to several weeks, leading to generators running beyond their fuel storage capacity. Our client re-fueled generator tanks but it was a difficult process due to conditions on the ground and extremely inefficient as the Network Operation Center (NOC) had no visibility on fuel levels. There was no way to establish a priority of which sites needed re-fueling first.

Customer challenge

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, our client decided that they need better and more actionable data regarding generator fuel levels. During an incoming extreme weather event such as a hurricane, the client wanted to have full visibility into their fuel levels to prioritize the re-supply process. Initially, they were seeking a very small device to just monitor and transmit fuel tank levels. But after working with Asentria and seeing its solutions’ potential for telecom site automation, they decided to use an even more evolved version able to collect significant data about generators’ alarms and maintenance needs.

Project Objectives

  • Ensure full visibility into generators’ fuel levels during extreme weather events.
  • Identify problems with generators in the coming days prior to hurricane landfall.  
  • Option to turn off diesel generators during times of poor air quality.
  • Ensure more accurate timing of generator exercising.
  • Collect data on generator run-times.

Solution

Initially, the client was seeking a very small device to just monitor and transmit fuel tank levels. After working with SiteBoss and seeing its potential for Telecom Site Automation, they decided to use an even more evolved version able to collect significant data about generators’ alarming and maintenance features and to give future flexibility to manage other power, security, and environmental issues. At an early stage, the SiteBoss S550 was tied to the automatic transfer switch (ATS) to allow centralized control of running the generator network. The Asentria SiteBoss S550 is a versatile and powerful system used for monitoring and control of remote equipment sites. The S550 provides remote monitoring of equipment, generator fuel levels and environmental. 

Customer benefits

  • Identify problems with generators in the days prior to a hurricane’s landfall  
  • Full real-time visibility into generators’ fuel tank levels
  • Option to turn on/off diesel generators when needed
  • Correcting clocks to allow for accurate timing of generator exercising
  • Allow maintenance cycles based on actual generator run-time
  • Secure port forwarding or remote desktop to on-site equipment interfaces
  • Out-of-band (eg. cell modem) access to remote network equipment
  • External environmental sensors with individually configurable alarming functionality
  • Web interface for easy configuration

Summary

This is a case study summary, and a complete version with additional details can be downloaded in a PDF document here:

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