November 22, 2019

Carbon handprint: Potential climate benefits of a novel liquid-cooled base station with waste heat reuse

  • Grönman K.
  • Kasurinen H.
  • Lakanen L.
  • Pajula T.
  • Salmela O.
  • Soukka R.
  • Vatanen S.

The novel life cycle assessment (LCA)-based carbon handprint indicator represents a potential carbon footprint reduction that producers/products create for customers who use the(ir) product instead of a baseline product. The research question is how to consider a situation in which multiple customers use a product for different purposes to provide a carbon handprint quantification and the associated communication. The study further provides new insight into the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction potential within the mobile telecommunications and energy sectors. The carbon handprint of a novel Finnish liquid-cooled base station technology is quantified. The liquid-cooled base station provides a telecommunications service and waste heat that is recoverable through the cooling liquid for heating purposes. The baseline solutions are an air-cooled base station, and district and electrical heating. The liquid-cooled base station creates a carbon handprint, both through energy savings in telecommunications and additional waste heat reuse, replacing other energy production methods. A large-scale climate change mitigation potential through a liquid-cooled base station expansion could be significant. Different supply chain operators? contributions to the total carbon handprint could be terminologically distinguished in communications to emphasize their roles in a shared handprint. The handprint should be transparently communicated for each customer and function.

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