NAB Fastroad Investigates Transmitter Efficiency Ratings

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Washington - Jan 25, 2011 - The NAB Fastroad released a white paper on power-efficient broadcast facility transmission design for radio and television stations. With funding from the NAB Fastroad technology advocacy program, the paper was researched and authored by the broadcast engineering consulting firm of Cavell, Mertz and Associates (CMA).

Consisting of two parts, this white paper first presents a primer on power-efficient broadcast facility transmission design for stations considering the alteration or construction of new RF transmission facilities for over-the-air radio and DTV broadcasting. Topics include historical information on the evolution of transmitter efficiency, the impact of cooling system requirements on overall plant efficiency, and a brief discussion of "green" energy alternatives.

In the second part, a proposal for a Transmitter Energy Efficiency Award (TEEA) for broadcast transmitters is developed, reminiscent of the U.S. Government's Energy Star rating for home appliances. The TEEA proposal establishes a set of criteria and measurement methods that can be used to compare various transmitter products against one another, and would provide a tool for broadcasters to use in making greener decisions when purchasing transmission equipment.

A companion, Web-based tool is also under development by CMA, designed to allow a broadcast station engineer or manager to conduct a what-if study of various transmitter site topology decisions and their impact on facility long-term operational costs, as opposed to one-time capital costs. The Web-based tool is expected to be launched by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

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