When planning for the mobile networks of the future, the energy to power them is not the most obvious challenge. But the surge in capacity will require an energy solution, and preferably an eco-friendly and sustainable one. The EU-funded SCAVENGE project plans to appropriate energy from elsewhere using innovative hardware.
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Mobile traffic volume is increasing by around 10 % every year. The infrastructure needed to support this 5G base stations as well as end devices (mobile terminals, sensors and machines) will have significant energy demands, which is a concern for the environment.
To make communication greener, the SCAVENGE project is looking at exploiting renewable resources such as the sun and the wind at a local level to feed the energy demand. Developing the technology are early-stage researchers. Alongside following a training programme run by both research centres and companies, the 14 researchers will contribute to the design and implementation of eco-friendly and sustainable next-generation 5G networks. They will also become leaders in the scientific and technological areas covered.
The project will cover all stages in the chain, from the characterisation of intermittent and / or erratic energy sources to the development of theoretical models and the design, optimisation and proof-of-concept implementation of a core network, base stations and mobile elements as well as their integration with a smart electrical grid.
The project is also organising training sessions that are open to the general public. They cover topics such as cellular architecture evolution, machine-type communication, high-dimensional data analysis and entrepreneurship.