Keeping Connected During Disasters: Decon's Renewable Energy Assets in the Spotlight

Jesse Falk

Australia's recent disaster efforts, including flood events in QLD, have highlighted the critical need for disaster resilience. Last week, the Select Committee on Australia's Disaster Resilience met to discuss strategies for preparedness, response, and recovery. Senators including Linda ReynoldsTony Sheldon and Jacqui Lambie were among those leading the discussion.

We were thrilled to hear nbn's John Parkin and Phil Astle discuss nbn® Australia's commitment to disaster resilience, with a particular focus on the innovative Hybrid Power Cube technology.

In collaboration with nbn, Decon designed and developed the Hybrid Power Cube, funded by several federal initiatives. This solution addresses the challenge of maintaining telecommunications infrastructure during disasters, ensuring critical communication channels remain open for residents and emergency services.

The Hybrid Power Cube, also known as the Smart Power Cell (SPC), is a transportable, off-grid power solution. It leverages a combination of clean energy technologies, including solar panels, wind turbine and sodium metal chloride battery to ensure continued communications in the event of power outage or disaster scenario.

Decon provides ongoing remote monitoring of these units for nbn, ensuring optimal performance, zero downtime and completely eliminating the dangers associated with people having to attend site during an emergency such as flood, fire or natural disaster. This proactive approach guarantees that no one is put in an unsafe situation and that continuous reliable power is provided for telecommunications infrastructure, even in the most challenging situations. Collectively, we have over 100 monitored renewable energy assets deployed across Australia for various telco carriers.

The committee also heard from TPG Telecom about their complementary disaster response solutions, who previously received federal funding to acquire a fleet of Cell on Wheels (COWs) for bushfire-prone areas.

A Cell on Wheels (COW) is a portable cellular base station designed to provide temporary network coverage in emergencies. They can be transported across various terrains and are ideal for situations where existing infrastructure is damaged or overwhelmed.

In addition to the provision of a fleet of Hybrid Power Cubes for nbn, Decon are also proud to have to designed and developed the Cell on Wheels (COW) for TPG. These units provide crucial mobile network restoration in disaster situations and are testmaent to the power of collaboration between industry and government in building a more resilient Australia. 

Listen to the Senate Hearing here

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