© Photo | ebm-papst, Gernot Walter

Fans for the mobile

Fans play an impor­tant role in mobile phone commu­ni­ca­tions

Though they work behind the scenes, the task of the fans is all the more impor­tant: they ensure that the systems in the network oper­a­tors’ nodes do not over­heat. Around the world, count­less control cabi­nets lay the ground­work for data traffic: They relay phone calls between the mobile and land line networks for trans­port data, even across long distances.

For years, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions providers have used DC fans in these cabinet-sized units. “Compared to AC tech­nology, these fans are very powerful and energy-effi­cient,” says Stefan Schneider of Fan Product Marketing at ebm-papst. “There­fore, the bene­fits of a switch to EC fans would not justify the effort and expense.” Despite this, increased effi­ciency is always at the very top of customers’ wish lists. “With inno­v­a­tive aero­dy­namics and motors and elec­tronics tech­nolo­gies in our S-Force gener­a­tion of fans, we were able to obtain a double-digit increase in effi­ciency.” More­over, it is impor­tant that the fans have high elec­tro­mag­netic compat­i­bility so that they do not inter­fere with tele­phone signals.

This is becoming more impor­tant all the time, as the volume of data has been growing expo­nen­tially for years. In 2009 alone, world­wide data traffic was some 40 million giga­bytes — an increase of 247 percent over the previous year. Thanks to smart­phones, people use their mobile phones not only to make calls, but also to send e-mails and stream videos online. This growth trend has long been visible around the world and is by no means limited to the leading indus­trial nations.

With­standing wind and rain

In the frozen tundra of Russia and the Sahara desert, devel­opers have to focus on another aspect: weather-resis­tance. Mobile phone trans­mis­sion towers, known as base stations, have to deliver the same level of constant output, even under dras­ti­cally harsh condi­tions. These fans are adapted specif­i­cally to these oper­ating condi­tions. “For outdoor instal­la­tions, we use DC fans that we have tested thor­oughly,” Schneider says. There­fore, devices from ebm-papst can cope with extreme temper­a­tures equally well as with precip­i­ta­tion or salty air in coastal regions. ebm-papst regu­larly outper­forms the applic­able industry stan­dards in these areas.

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