Green Telecom East: Verizon's Thermal Ware

NEW YORK -- Green Telecom East -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) used Light Reading’s Green Telecom event here today to unveil a new environmental program aimed at improving the energy efficiency of equipment it buys from suppliers in the coming years.

In his morning keynote at the Westin hotel in Times Square, Chuck Graff, Verizon's director of corporate network and technology, announced that the carrier is rolling out a new thermal modeling simulation and test certification program, aimed at improving the energy requirements and heat dissipation of both wired and wireless equipment.

The program will require vendors to use 3D modeling software to find and, hopefully, eliminate so-called “hotspots” -- parts of the mechanism that run hot -- as part of Verizon’s recent energy efficiency drive. The operator has had this in place since January. “We’re going to give heat dissipation numbers on a component basis,” said Graff.

He estimates that it will take a year to fully implement the thermal program. The carrier is having a meeting with suppliers at the end of the month to talk about the scheme. Vendors will then have a 30-day period to comment on it.

The thermal modeling program is the next step in Verizon’s early-stage efforts to reduce its energy requirements. “Effective January 1 this year we’ve asked for a 20 percent decrease in energy consumption on all new equipment we buy, over legacy equipment."

In the five months since it started to look for the energy reduction in new gear, Graff said that Verizon has reduced its spend by over $1.5 million and saved 3,000 pounds of CO2. “That’s not very much yet, but it’s just the beginning.".

The firm’s eventual aim is to reduce its energy spend by $1 billion and cut its carbon footprint. Improved heat dissipation in telecom gear could be an important element in improving matters, since the company currently spends so much on keeping its equipment cool.

”Cooling is a big piece,” said Graff. He estimates it represents 38 percent of all Verizon’s energy spend.

As well as better efficiency in new gear, Verizon has a trial to monitor existing sites to see if it can switch off or reduce power requirements during capacity down-times. The firm has also implemented cellphone recovery programs in order to try to reduce the pollution caused by the components of old handsets. On the wired side, Graff noted that the move from copper to FiOS can also help save the company up to 38 percent in energy consumption.

– Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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