Micro Turbine powered communications at the Bristol Hot Air Balloon Festival

12 November 2019
Written by Stuart Kelly

Balloons launching at Bristol Hot Air Balloon festival

While rain may have dampened the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta this year, it didn’t dampen spirits for the Bladon Micro Turbine team. 

For the first time a Bladon Micro Turbine Genset (or MTG) powered an offgrid telecoms tower in the UK. Working on a product trial with our UK partner DAEL Telecom, the MTG provided power to an offgrid telecoms tower site at Europe’s largest hot air balloon meeting. Thanks to Bladon and our partner DAEL, the thousands that flock to see the 130+ balloons take to the sky were able to get full 3G/4G signals and share their experiences.

Bladon Micro Turbine Genset used in off grid telecoms application
Bladon Micro Turbine Genset powering telecoms tower at Bristol Balloon festival

Not only did the MTG deliver a reliable source of power on the site, but it did so in a way perfectly suited to the environment. Noise levels recorded on the day had the MTG12 producing 59db at 2m. For comparison, 60db is widely regarded as the noise level of a ‘normal conversation’.

Low noise reading on decibel meter of Bladon's MTG genset

Feedback on the day was that the mobile network operators on site were impressed at how quiet our genset was, particularly when compared to the traditional diesel gensets they were used too. That difference is down to the revolutionary way the micro turbine engine that powers the generator functions. Its continuous burn doesn’t produce the same ‘bang’ that a diesel engine normally would, and as such reduces the noise significantly. 

As Bladon continues to grow its foothold in the African telecoms market, we are building a platform from which to launch our product in other markets. Bladon is a British engineering company and we’re delighted to have been able to demonstrate the power of our genset at a home-grown but internationally regarded event. We will continue to pursue commercial opportunities closer to home as well as across the globe.

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