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special report transmission


There is high interest among broadcasters and RF network operators to reduce their overall transmission facility cost of ownership. The total cost of ownership (TCO) includes much more than the initial cost, energy consumption, and maintenance of the transmission equipment. The acquisition, maintenance, operating, and training costs of all the other required systems in the transmission facility must also be considered to arrive at lowest TCO. In this article, Geoffrey Mendenhall from Harris Broadcast Communications, investigates a new evaluation process and analysis tool to design a transmission facility for lowest TCO. Besides the reduction in direct operating costs, the benefits of reduced TCO include a reduction of carbon footprint in support of green technology. The comprehensive analysis includes the trade-offs between air and liquid cooling system impact on the overall facility, floor space requirements, size, and the thermal efficiency of the transmitter building.


installation cost of transmission equipment; operating cost of transmission equipment power consumption; maintenance cost of transmission equipment; acquisition cost of facility cooling system (HVAC, etc.); installation cost of facility cooling system (HVAC, etc.); operating cost of facility cooling system power consumption (HVAC, etc.); maintenance cost of facility cooling system (HVAC, etc.); periodic replacement cost for facility cooling


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Transmission: counting the cost


hat contributes to total cost of ownership? Factors include: acquisition cost of transmission equipment;


system (HVAC, etc.); acquisition cost of power conditioning or other special equipment; maintenance cost of power conditioning or other special equipment; acquisition or recurring lease cost of floor space required; and training costs for all required equipment. As outlined above, the total cost of


Figure 1:


performance scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (best).


ownership must take into account far more than the initial purchase cost of the transmission equipment. Many facility design and purchase decisions are still being made on the basis of the transmitter and antenna costs in isolation from the many additional costs associated with the rest of the supporting infrastructure required to make the facility work.


the true cost of ownership, all of the above facility cost items must be taken into account.


What impact does transmitter selection make on TCO?


• Physical size and foot print (FT2). • Power density of transmitter (Watts/FT3). • Type of cooling - air or liquid.


74 l ibe l september/october 2012 l www.ibeweb.com


• Operating efficiency (AC to RF) of the transmitter. • AC power requirements - (1) phase or (3) phase (polyphase power may be costly to bring to some sites). • AC input voltage and voltage regulation requirements. • Maintainability - hot swappable modules, air or liquid filter replacement, all other maintenance tasks. • Commonality of transmitter types - spares sharing, common training and operational requirements. • N+1 transmitter system architecture can reduce number of backup transmitters required. The choice between air or liquid


To understand


cooling for the transmission equipment can make a significant difference in the overall cost of ownership. Although the initial purchase cost of a liquid cooled transmitter is typically higher than an equivalent air cooled transmitter, the elimination of most of the costs associated with air conditioning can make the break-even period short on the cost difference of the transmitter and provide significant long term operational savings.


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