Tesla, an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California is participating in a new initiative by an African telecom to install 520 Powerwalls in their sites in order to keep their important network online despite frequent power outages.
Mobile networks are extremely important to the economy, especially in Africa, where transaction systems are not as common and most people use mobile-based digital transactions.
The problem is that the electric grids are usually unstable and often suffers brownouts and blackouts, which in turn cripples the telecommunication networks.
Econet Wireless has decided to use Tesla Powerwall’s to address the situation. Last year, they installed Powerwall’s at one of Econet’s telecommunication towers to provide backup power and after a 12-month trial period, they are impressed with the performance.
The battery packs store energy from the grid or solar panels while the energy is available and if there’s a power outage, the Powerwall’s started powering the cell tower.
The Tesla Powerwall addresses the power back up requirements, offers 100% depth of discharge and has a wide temperature operating range. It also offers real-time monitoring and will help mitigate current battery theft issues being experienced with lead-acid batteries.
Tesla will now be installing 520 Tesla Powerwalls at 260 Econet sites, with the first 65 sites to be installed in the coming months.
Tesla has also been indirectly helping deploy energy storage and solar in Africa through its participation in an African startup that has already installed hundreds of thousands of small solar storage systems on the continent.