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Solution Series: Modular Power Series and the Hybrid Power Series (Part 4 of 4 Series)

Welcome back to the Solution Series brought to you by DoubleRadius and hosted by, yours truly, Jeff Holdenrid. 


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Jeff: We are here with Blair Clements from ICT and this is Part 4 of the series we put together on ICT.


Over the last few sessions we talked about who ICT is, your DC Power Supplies, DC Power Distribution, the intelligence and management pieces you offer for your solutions, and how you implement battery back up into your solutions. Now we are going to wrap it all up into one big piece and talk about your modular series .. is that how you explain it?


Blair: Yes, we have the Modular Power Series and the Hybrid Power Series and the extension of those, the High Power, and we can touch on all those. 

Jeff: You call them systems, right? We have Power Supplies, Power Distributions, and now this will be the Power Systems?


Blair: DC Power Systems


Jeff: Everything wrapped into one, that is attractive. Can you go over what you do in your Power System Solutions?

Blair: I will touch on the Modular Power Series, our MPS Ultra Platforms first. As you said they are a DC Power System. What we have done and talked about before, some of our discrete power supplies, rack-mount power supplies, and now we have it in a form factor that incorporates DC Power Modules, or DC Rectify some people like to call them. It is a different form factor, they are modular and can slide into our power shelf. You can put as many power modules as you need for your particular application and scale up the power as needed for your requirements. Those are hot swappable power modules, meaning customers typically use these power systems for really critical sites. If there are any issues with any one of the power modules they can pull that module out and slide another module in and keep the whole system running without ever losing power to the site. That is the importance of having the M+1 Hot Swappable DC Rectify Modules or Power Supply Modules that go into these power shelves. We also have modules that are factored in stores, so depending on the customers needs, we have battery management modules. They take up one slot position in the shelf, the shelf is generally four positions you can fill with modules. 


The battery management module incorporates low voltage disconnect and then adds the battery management features that we have talked about previously with some of our other products to do battery discharge testing (voltage in the battery, setting low-voltage disconnect points, battery equalization charging, etc), all the types of battery functions and maintenance to support your battery at the site and make sure they are in optimal running conditions. That is a module that customers can say when they order they would like to have battery back-up capabilities. That comes in a 100 amp battery breaker on the unit so it can trip out if you have an excessive battery fault condition occur, or you have 2 100 amp battery breakers so you can connect 2 battery strings to the device if you want to. The other module that we have with our Module Power Series and MPS Ultra is our Low Distribution Module. That fills one position on the shelf and each of those Low Distribution Modules has 4 breaker protected outputs on it, similar to our distribution panels. The real difference we offer is we took the intelligence, features, and functionality of our intelligent DC Distribution Panel and we basically incorporated that into these Modular Power Systems. We do actually have breaker protected outputs, you can monitor output current for each individual load you have connected to these, but more importantly you can cycle power individually into those loads again. That is what makes ICT solutions unique, we have the ability to provide that power cycling so if you have a locked-up devices (as we discussed in previous sessions) you can go in there and remotely cycle power to that individual device at the tower while keeping all the other devices running, and reboot that device to be back up and running.  You are getting the configurability to add as many power modules as you may need to support the power at the site, give you the battery management if you need it, add low distribution modules to have low-distribution capabilities .. all within one platform and all being monitored from 1 single IP address to control everything.


That is the Modular Power Series in MPS Ultra, all we did was expand on that. We recently released our Hybrid Power Series and Hybrid Ultra. Our Hybrid Power Series is in 1U (unit) and the Hybrid Ultra is in 2U. They are very similar. You can add Power Modules, Low-Distribution Modules, Battery Management Modules, etc. The difference with our Hybrid is the 700 Watt DC/DC Converter Module which is factory installed. For those sites we discussed earlier with primarily 40 amp volts that may have 28 volt gear as well, now you can have a DC/DC Converter Module edited into this platform. In the back of the unit is the main output of 48 volts with a secondary output of 28 volts to support those 24 volt devices, and that is all incorporated into 1 platform.


Jeff: So basically you have a 1U with 4 slots for you to customize slides to have everything you need in it with size and distribution, then you have the 2U with 8 slots giving you more options for outputs and power supplies? That is how this series works?


Blair: That is correct. A lot of customers will go to the Utra version of these, which is the 2U version to give you extra power because they need it, but also we have a lot of customers that think about future proofing their sites. Their sites may be small now or do not have as many subscribers hanging off them so the number of radios and devices they need at the site is limited right now but they will buy the Ultra 2U with 8 slots available so as the site grows, they add more devices, or they need to change the devices at the site that may need more power, they can simply just slide in another power module as opposed to ripping out and replacing new. There is a scalability there and we provide the DC power modules both at 700 watt output ratings and a newly released 1500 watt output rating that was released in January. This enables customers to effectively double the power or more in the same footprint and size as we provided previously in the 700 watts. 


Jeff:  I believe I saw that on your homepage! 


Blair: Yea, devices have become a little power intensive, that seems to be the trend. To be able to double-up on the power requirement all within the same size as the previous 700 watt. For folks that need small to medium power the 700 watt is a great option for them, but for those who need to step it up a little bit we have 1500 watts available in the power modules now. 


Jeff: That is perfect. We have now talked about all the intelligence in the power supplies, we talked about the intelligence in the power distribution, etc. It seems we have wrapped this up into a full circle; if you need bigger options you have individual power supplies, power distribution, but if you are looking at 4,8, or 12 devices with not too much power then your modular series or power systems seems to be a great fit for that.


Blair: Yes. Again, we look at it as the Good, Better, Best. Depending on the site and what the customer needs for the site. If it is a critical site the modular approach is very good because you can scale it up, you have M+1 redundancy. For example: if you have a site that requires 1000 watts, and you are looking at our 700 watt module, in order to provide that 1000 watts you will need 2 power modules making 1400 watts. Then what the customer will do is they will add an extra power module to give you the end plus the one extra that way if any of the power modules goes off line for any reason (which happens infrequently) then there is enough power there already with the other modules to continue to support the load requirements for the site. Typically, customers that have fairly critical sites will tend to go with the M+1 redundant system. The modularity helps the scalability as well. For a smaller site you may opt to go with the Pro Series, a very stand-alone power supply with maybe some intelligent distribution, it's a more cost-effective solution that doesn't need all the bells and whistles that our modular system would offer.


Jeff: Let me shift gears real quick, what is the coolest/most memorable deployment that you know of from something you got to visit, or your sales reps have talked about? What is the most interesting deployment for ICT that you can remember?


Blair: That is a good one! We get out to visit sites on occasion obviously. There are various different ones I could point out, some in terms of just the size of the sites are very impressive. The installations that they have done and the professionalism of specific installations you see on some of these sites are great. I think for me personally, some of the fun ones to go to have been very remotely located in far north Queensland in Australia at the top of a rainforest in a mountain somewhere where you had to take a helicopter to get there! It is always a fun part of the job to visit these sites to these customers and that just reinforces the remote access capabilities of these products. To get out to those sites you need a helicopter to get there. To be able to remotely monitor and control those things and avoid helicopter rides … as fun as they are, they are expensive. It saves the customers a lot of money the less they have to do that. That is more for land/mobile radio sites, but you can understand the same concept, the same idea when your remote site can be a challenge to get to. But that was a fun deployment that I do recall.


Jeff: Blair, thank you for taking the time out to film with us and explaining to our clients all the different solutions ICT brings to the table. Like I said; we are super excited to have a relationship with you guys. I have been talking to you for a while now so I am very happy we have a chance to build this relationship and record this series to educate clients about who ICT is and the solutions you bring to the table. 


For those of you that are going to WIPSAmerica be sure to visit ICT in Booth #117, come visit DoubleRadius is Booth #211 in Louisville, KY March 6th - 9th, 2023.


Blair: I would like to thank you again for coordinating all this and it is great to work with DoubleRadius, I hope the customers get value out of it.


Jeff: ICT - Power Supplies, Power Systems, all with intelligence. Jump on the website, check them out. Reach out to your sales reps and let's get the right people talking to the right people to create a solution for you, let's make this happen. 




For more on ICT and their Power Solutions:


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