China's largest 5G smart grid project completed
According to the State Grid Corporation of China, China's largest 5G smart grid project has now been completed in Qingdao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province.
The 5G smart grid can not only automatically remove faults in distribution lines within milliseconds, but also reduce the power consumption of each 5G base station by 20% through a peak-clipping and valley-filling strategy. This greatly alleviates the problem of high energy consumption by 5G technology.
So far, over 30 5G base stations — jointly developed by the State Grid Qingdao Electric Supply Company, China Telecom Qingdao Branch and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. — have been built to support the smart grid.
Two 10-kilovolt power distribution cabinets, located at Guzhenkou in Qingdao, were recently put into operation. Zhang Tao, with maintenance department of the State Grid Qingdao Electric Supply Company, explained that the facilities, equipped with 5G-powered differential protection devices for distribution networks, can remove faults in distribution lines within a few dozens of milliseconds.
One of the biggest difficulties that has hindered the differential protection of the distribution network is the lack of a suitable means of communication.
The State Grid Qingdao Electric Supply Company, together with China Telecom, Huawei and Shandong University, jointly developed a 5G-powered differential protection device for distribution networks and deployed edge computing and network slicing technologies.
Compared with the previous situation whereby a power fault could cause power failure along the entire line, Zhang said that users not within the fault area would no longer be affected. This achievement marks a major breakthrough in distribution network protection.
According to the State Grid, with its large bandwidth, low latency and massive connections, 5G can meet the demands of various business scenarios such as video inspection, distribution automation and automatic meter reading.
The 35-kilovolt Gujia Substation located at Guzhenkou in Qingdao, the latest 5G peak-clipping and valley-filling base station, has also been put into operation. It has now begun providing cheap and stable power supply for local 5G facilities.
The State Grid explained that the peak-clipping and valley-filling strategy can help store energy during periods of low-power consumption and then use the stored energy to power 5G base stations during peak hours.
It is estimated that the strategy could cut electricity costs at each base station by 20%, saving 13,800 yuan (US$1,979) per station every year.
Around 14,000 5G base stations are expected to be built by three major telecommunications operators in Qingdao, which will provide considerable economic and social benefits once rolled out on a wide scale.
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