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Deploying Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Increased Network Reliability

Black & Veatch is Helping Sprint Deploy Advanced Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Project Name
Sprint Nextel Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Location
New York and Connecticut
Client
Sprint Corporation

A pioneer in hydrogen fuel cell deployment at wireless cell sites, Sprint has expanded backup power to last as long as 72 hours, further ensuring added telecommunications network reliability and enhanced emergency preparedness.

One of Sprint’s top initiatives is to research and install or upgrade wireless sites with more reliable, sustainable, economical and cutting-edge backup power technology solutions across the nation. Sprint’s commitment stems from a long-term, company-wide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase use of renewable energy. Hydrogen fuel cells are helping Sprint achieve these goals.

In 2010, Sprint contracted Black & Veatch to serve as Project Manager for the carrier’s expanded deployment. As Project Manager, Black & Veatch is providing a full turnkey solution that includes site assessments, leasing, engineering, zoning, permitting, construction and installation. The company’s professionals are helping Sprint successfully deploy approximately 100 new fuel cells in Connecticut and New York.

Conventional hydrogen fuel cells have backup power capabilities at the industry norm of 16 to 20 hours. Since 2005, Sprint has installed more than 250 hydrogen fuel cells as a cleaner backup power solution for U.S. cell sites. In 2009, Sprint received a Department of Energy grant. The grant helps the carrier implement its ambitious plan to deploy longer-lasting 1-kilowatt (kW) to 10-kW fuel cell systems with 72-hour run times, strengthening the overall reliability of the Sprint network.

When complete, Sprint will tally up 260 new and 70 upgraded hydrogen fuel cells nationwide.

“Sprint is one of the pioneers of hydrogen fuel cell deployment in the telecom sector, and Black & Veatch was there with us from the very beginning when we first rolled out the technology in 2005,” said John Holmes, Manager, Core Development and Engineering Standards, Sprint. “We’ve had a good partnership in this whole program.”

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