The company said that this Vodafone trial site in Qatar is a step towards the validation of alternative energy solutions that can be implemented elsewhere in the Vodafone Group to enable the expansion of mobile communication to areas not served by electrical grids, and to reduce both operating expenses and environmental impact.

The system is provided by Alcatel-Lucent’s alternative energy program. To address the challenge that more than 100,000 mobile base stations shall be equipped with alternative energy solutions between 2010 and 2012, representing a yearly savings of about 7 million tons of CO2, the program aims at providing wireless Base Stations powered with alternative energies, ready for deployments.

Alcatel-Lucent provides consulting to help operators build a deployment plan designed to their specific environment, and then manages design, dimensioning, installation, transformation and integration of the entire network, the company said.

Marc Kassis, head of Alcatel-Lucent Qatar, said: ”Alcatel-Lucent is absolutely convinced that business has a critical role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy. And for us this means both reducing the CO2 emissions from our own operations and providing energy efficient solutions to our customers.

“This trial marks an important milestone for our industrial solution. It also further strengthens our relationship with Vodafone by giving us the opportunity to combat global climate change together.”

The technology, provided by Alcatel-Lucent, enables Vodafone to take advantage of the fluctuating yet complementary local weather conditions, all while reducing the ongoing costs and improving the quality of maintenance at remote or inaccessible sites, claimed the company.

The wind turbine at the Qatar site has been mounted at the top of the existing mast to leverage higher winds. The energy controller brings control to simultaneously draw power from both the PV panels and wind turbine, based on solar intensity and wind speed.

The system also monitors battery charging cycles and diesel generator maintenance runs so as to maximize their lifespan, the company claimed. A full monitoring system enables tracking of weather and energy parameters.

Jenny Howe, chief technical officer of Vodafone Qatar, said: ”As the first hybrid solution in Qatar to make use of both wind and solar energy, this achievement increases the availability and quality of mobile services to the end customer, while reducing the impact on the environment.

“Our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent has enabled a significant first step toward commercializing the technologies we need to reduce our carbon footprint and make a world of difference for all people in Qatar.”