Location: Multiple sites in California and New Jersey
Burns & McDonnell completed design, installation and commissioning of emergency communications fuel cell backup power systems for existing Sprint cell towers in California and New Jersey. For this project, 404 sites were surveyed, 165 sites installations were designed, and 97 were constructed. More may be developed in the future.
More than 250 potential cell tower sites have been screened by Burns & McDonnell for the potential installations. Issues such as accessibility for refueling, building code compliance, zoning, construction cost and other factors were used to determine the 165 current sites that were finally selected.
Burns & McDonnell also provided construction and commissioning services at these sites. The existing sites were kept operational during the fuel cell installations. Sprint was awarded a $7.3 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for fuel cell technology by the U.S. Department of Energy. The balance of funding for the program, totaling $21 million, was funded by Sprint. Much of the cost include the fuel cell equipment and the hydrogen storage and delivery systems.
Commissioning (Cx) plan
PFC and FPTS development
Corrective issues log development
Final Cx report
The project is designed to expand the use of hydrogen fuel cells as backup power for electric utility disruptions to first responder communication infrastructure during severe weather or other natural disasters. Cell tower outages during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina caused by inability to get diesel fuel to backup generators spawned the need for extended backup power capabilities.