17 Nov DRM Energy Calculator – A User’s View
The DRM Energy calculator has proved to be a simple and useful tool, helping broadcasters to forecast possible energy savings as broadcaster Neale Bateman shares his experience in his review.
I used the energy efficiency calculator by applying empirical data from the Woofferton HF transmitter site in the UK. As anticipated, the predicted potential savings were significant; notwithstanding that the type of transmitters used in my assumptions (RIZ 250K01 wideband systems) is already DRM capable; but it certainly highlights the reduction in operational costs of running these transmitters in DRM mode compared with the cost of analogue AM transmissions, even at reduced AM power. At sites, where older types of transmitters are still in use, the capital cost of replacement in order to realise the potential energy savings would need to be considered, but there are definitely long term OPEX (day to day operating costs) savings to be made by broadcasters when operating in DRM mode.
I was also interested to note the predicted savings that might be achieved by using DRM in the conventional FM band (VHF band II). For these calculations, I used the energy calculator tool to compare the costs of running a small network of three FM transmitters that I used manage for a local commercial radio station in Sussex, in the south of England. Even in the case of 3x low power FM transmitters (<1kW) the calculator suggests a saving of at least GBP1,000 per annum could be made, assuming continuous 24/7 operation in DRM mode. Extrapolating this over a larger network of Band II transmitters, this becomes a very significant reduction in operating costs for FM station owners.
In summary, I found the energy efficiency calculator itself to be very easy and intuitive to use – certainly a very useful tool. The “how to use” video on the DRM.org website is also self-explanatory, but well worth watching.
If you want to use the efficiency energy calculator please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Neale Bateman, Freelance Consultant Broadcast Engineer