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What are the requirements for 5G commercial base stations to drive lithium iron phosphate batteries?

2020-10-13

5G commercial applications are getting closer, and the construction of base stations will drive the demand for lithium iron phosphate batteries above 155GWh. The commercial application of 5G is getting closer and the entire industry chain is actively operating to meet new technical standards. Data shows that in the past three years, domestic network operation and support costs have increased by more than 10% annually on average, of which energy consumption accounts for about 12%.

In this situation where operation and maintenance costs have increased significantly, the state requires tariff reductions, so operation and maintenance costs have become a key development point. In 2018, China Tower has stopped purchasing lead-acid batteries and purchased batteries for tiered use in a unified manner. As the construction of 5G base stations accelerates, the demand for energy storage lithium iron phosphate batteries will increase significantly.

According to the plan, the 5G base stations of China Telecom and China Unicom will be more than twice the current number of 4G base stations, and China Mobile will be more than four times the current number. According to data from the 2018 annual reports of various operators, there are at least 14.38 million base stations in China that need to be built or renovated.

In addition, as the energy consumption of 5G base stations has risen sharply, it means that there are 14.38 million sets of backup energy systems that need to be improved. Calculated according to the 5GC-band single station power consumption of 2700W and emergency response time of 4h, there is at least 155GWh battery storage space in the market. In order to ensure the stable use of 5G communication equipment, the macro base station generally reserves 3-4h of energy storage power, and the power supply voltage is 48V. Large-scale construction directly drives the demand for energy storage batteries. Compared with lead-acid batteries, it can be seen that lithium iron phosphate batteries have more obvious advantages in energy storage in 5G communication base stations, and their future application prospects are broader.

Compared with echelon lithium batteries, lead-acid batteries have the shortcomings of short service life, low performance, and a large amount of heavy metal lead. Although the current price of cascaded lithium iron phosphate batteries is still higher than that of lead batteries, its advantages in charge and discharge times, service life, and volume and weight can make up for the high price defects, and the overall cost of use is better than lead batteries.

In 2018, the Iron Tower Company stopped purchasing lead-acid battery base station power supplies and changed to a unified procurement of echelon lithium batteries. According to the plan of the Tower Company, in 2019, it will continue to expand the scale of its use of lithium batteries. It is expected to replace 150,000 tons of lead batteries and digest more than 50,000 tons of decommissioned power batteries. Although the field of base station power supply is the demand side of traditional lead storage batteries, due to the change in national policy direction, the growth rate of this field will shift to the utilization of lithium elevators. Although base station power data will accelerate with 5G investment, the statistical caliber cannot distinguish whether it is lead storage battery or lithium elevator usage. It is expected that with the gradual expansion of echelon lithium iron phosphate batteries and the requirements for harmless disposal of environmentally friendly batteries, the application of lead-acid batteries in base stations will continue to be compressed.

In short, it is expected that with the retirement of a large number of lithium-powered batteries and the accumulation of experience, cascaded lithium batteries will completely replace lead-acid batteries in base stations, backup power sources and other fields that require lower battery performance. 5G communication base stations will drive the growth of the lithium iron phosphate battery energy storage industry!


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