Conference paper Open Access
Fernandez Gambin, Angel; Rossi, Michele
Energy self-sufficiency is of prime importance for future mobile networks. The design of energy efficient and possibly self-sustainable base stations is key to reduce their impact on the environment, and diminish their operating expense. As a solution to this, we advocate base station deployments featuring energy harvesting and storage capabilities. Each base station can acquire energy from the environment, promptly use it to serve the local traffic or keep it in its storage for later use. In addition, a power packet grid (DC power lines and switches) is utilized to enable energy transfer (energy routing) across base stations, compensating for imbalance in the harvested energy or in the load. Most of the base stations are offgrid, i.e., they can only use the locally harvested energy and that transferred from other network elements, whereas some of them are ongrid, i.e., they can also purchase energy from the electrical grid. We formulate the optimal energy allocation and routing as a convex optimization problem with the goals of improving the energy self-sustainability of the network, while achieving high energy transfer efficiencies under dynamic load and energy harvesting processes. An optimal assignment based on the Hungarian method is also presented. Our numerical results reveal that the proposed convex policy: (i) substantially improves the energy self-sustainability of the system, (ii) decreases its outage probability to nearly zero, even when a small number of base stations are connected to the electrical grid, and (iii) the amount of energy purchased from the electrical grid per served user is respectively decreased of three and eight times with respect to using the Hungarian policy and a scenario where the energy exchange among base stations is not permitted.