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5hine: siticom Pioneers 5G Control of Heliostats at Jülich

In a significant development for renewable energy technologies, siticom has successfully launched a 5G network specifically designed for remote and independent industry areas like solar thermal power applications. This week, the "5hine" project marked a major milestone with a successful establishment and rigorous testing of end-to-end connections to all stakeholders within the network, including drones, camera systems and other essential devices. A great success for 5G technology within the renewable energy sector!

Heliostat Field Juelich
Heliostat Field Juelich

Challenges and Roles in the 5hine Project

The "5hine" project, funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is a pioneering step in using 5G Standalone networks to control heliostats in solar thermal power plants. This initiative focuses on enhancing the efficiency, control, and maintenance of these plants, particularly in complex and widely distributed industrial systems like those at the Jülich site.

siticom, along with partners such as DLR, Technical University of Dortmund, and Condor Multicopter & Drones GmbH, Leikon and Synhelion, plays a pivotal role in this project. The collaboration involves enhancing the functionality of solar tower power plants, which primarily consist of a vast number of movable mirror systems, known as heliostats. The challenges of wiring such extensive systems are met with siticom's innovative wireless solutions, essential for operational and maintenance communication, including drone surveillance and vehicle control.

Implementation Strategy

The successful integration of 5G technology in solar thermal power plants represents a key achievement in addressing the unique challenges of this energy sector. The isolated nature and structural setup of these plants make them ideal for implementing a disturbance-free local 5G network. The "5hine" project aims to establish a private 5G network that is not only energy-efficient, secure and reliable but also cost-effective. The objectives include:

  • Reduction in energy production costs through advanced solar concentration systems.

  • Increased efficiency via real-time integration of sensor and actuator systems.

  • Enhancement of the environmental sustainability of solar power.

Milestones and Current Status

  1. Initial Setup: Established the RAN/Core with a single radio, followed by tablet testing.

  2. Radio Extension & Connection testing: Implemented additional radios in the heliostat field for expanded coverage. Conducted testing of connections in the field and surrounding areas.

  3. Transport Layer Integration: Integrated the complete transport layer, facilitating robust data transmission across networked systems and enhancing communication reliability within the solar thermal power plant.

  4. End-to-End Connection Achievement: Successfully established end-to-end connections to all network components, ensuring operational communication across the 5G network.

The project now moves forward with this significant achievement: 5hine is another step towards the overall goal of a CO2-neutral energy landscape. Beyond its technological innovation, it holds significant potential for Germany's renewable energy sector in the global market. siticom is committed to the success of this project, furthering advancements in sustainable energy technologies.

For more information about our 5G integration and laboratory capabilities, read more about our take on private 5G networks. Or get in touch with our team:


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