The construction of China's largest 5G smart power grids recently came to completion in Qingdao, as the country sets out to provide a more efficient and cost-effective energy supply.
The smart grid built in Qingdao City was jointly developed by State Grid Qingdao Electric Power Company, China Telecom Qingdao Branch and Huawei.
5G base stations are equipped with ultra-high-definition (UHD) surveillance cameras to monitor power transmission lines as well as electrical equipment, which will not only help technicians spot problems in time, but also will reduce 80 percent of the labor and material cost.
In the past, identifying and locating malfunctions in electric power system could take a long time, let alone restoring power which could possibly take a few days. But now, power can be restored in a couple minutes through 5G technology.
Since 5G base stations consume more power than 4G base stations and their coverage area is one third of that of 4G base stations, more 5G base stations will be needed if the scale of coverage area stays the same. Therefore, how to save power for 5G base stations becomes one of the key research topics for 5G smart grids.
"By storing energies when power demand is low and using these stored energies during peak hours, the total power load can be balanced. It is estimated that each base station will save 20 percent of the electricity fees, largely reducing the cost of operation maintenance," said Niu Huijun, general manager of China Telecom Qingdao Branch.
So far, the State Grid Cooperation of China has come up with a proposal on establishing a safe and reliable connection between the relatively individual power grid system and the Internet, which will help to achieve data exchange and human-computer interaction. By doing so, the power grids can be smarter and handier with a more comprehensive configuration, with a more efficient information processing system.
"With its characteristics of broad bandwidth, low time delay, wide connection and high reliability, 5G meets the communication need for energy interconnection. In the next step, we will continue research in 5G electric robot, unmanned aerial vehicle intelligent inspection and targeted load control to improve the connectivity of power grids," said Li Kun, communication technology engineer in network department of State Grid Qingdao Electric Power Company.