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Online Tool Helps Estimate Tx Energy Costs

NAB FASTROAD effort is offshoot of earlier Cavell, Mertz white paper

Broadcasters can use a new online tool to estimate their transmitter system energy costs. The developers hope it will assist users to manage their plants or figure out future infrastructure scenarios.

The Transmitter Efficiency Calculator was funded by the NAB FASTROAD technology advocacy program and developed by broadcast engineering consulting firm Cavell, Mertz & Associates. It uses data presented in a white paper, about which Radio World reported earlier.

The Transmitter Efficiency Calculator helps plan analog and digital AM, FM and DTV transmission facilities. Data is provided by equipment manufacturers. NAB was clear that the database is “by no means complete” and it hopes to expand the pool as companies provide more information, particularly with more TV offerings.

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According to the NAB Radio TechCheck newsletter, a user can estimate transmitter site power consumption and costs by answering online questions about transmitter configuration, location, building structure and on-site cooling.

The first image shows a possible set of input parameters for a 50 kW AM station. The results for the input parameters are in the second image.

The tool’s results depend on a number of assumptions, the developers caution. But they say its strength “comes from the ability to generate consistent and repeatable results” and that it should be useful for making “what if” comparisons of transmitters and scenarios.

NAB’s David Layer said in the newsletter that he welcomes comments and feedback about the offering.

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