Power Line Communications (PLC)
Power Line Communications (PLC)
The Power Line Communications (PLC) technology developed by Powercom called Dynamic PLC, achieves “last-mile” 2-way communications with the highest reliability in the industry.

The technology allows meters and concentrators to communicate over electricity wires (Aluminum/Copper) at a distance of up to 2 km within 2-3 seconds and greater than 95% success.  Daily readings are achieved from at least 99% of the meters.

 

The Dynamic PLC technology is proven through installations with utilities across the globe through a series of very successful pilot installations with utilities in more than 12 countries including in very poor infrastructure environments (India, Africa), with lines built from many interconnections.  Some of the lines are on top of poles and some underground. The connected consumers are not only residential, but heavy industrial, and commercial as well (shopping malls, etc.).

Our protocols are open platform – we can connect to any 3rd party meters with RS485 connection into our PLC network communications using PowerCom’s PLC/RS485 converter.  The unit is plug-and-play and no setup is required.   (show RS485 to PLC adaptor and upload data sheet).

Quick Specs:

  • Bit rate data flow-put: 2400bps. 
  • Frequency Spectrum: CENELEC A,B &C - narrow band
  • Modulation: S-FSK  (IEC 61334 compliant) or bbpsk.
  • Frequency: 90 – 400 / 20 - 430Khz Frequency of 20kHz – 420kHz as defined by Cenelec.  
  • Response times for readings:  incl. GPRS time to 2-3 secs.  Without GPRS long distance 0.5 seconds. 
  • Protocol:  Modbus, DLT645 or DLMS.
  •  Topography: Mesh network. 

 

Last Mile Communications Comparison

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

GPRS

No different infrastructure necessary

Instant communication and meter reading

Mobile metering points

Usually no need for repeaters

Dependency on GPRS-operator

Cost of Communication

Signal repeating costly if no coverage

RF

Low or no communication cost

Repeating can take place through other meters

Not effected by disturbances on the power grid or by power failure

Infrastructure not limited to transformer stations, wider use of IP-network possible

Repeaters required for distant customers

No confirmation of communication for on- site service staff

Can be effected by changes in surrounding area such as new buildings, trees, etc.

More costly due to antenna

PLC – High Frequency

Low or no communication cost

The system covers great distances cost effectively

Meter placement not an issue

Repeating can take place through other meters

-Disturbances on the Power Grid has a large influence on the performance

Repeaters required for distant customers

Installations required in every transformer station

PLC – Low Frequency

Low or no communication cost

The system covers great distances cost effectively

Meter placement not an issue

Repeating can take place through other meters

Disturbances on the Power Grid has a large influence on the  performance

Limited transmission distance

Dependent on existing infrastructure (Aluminum/Copper)

Installations required in every transformer station

Best performance up to now is 300-500m.  and meter  access at min. 2 min.

Dynamic PLC by PowerCom

Performance in any infrastructure at a distance of up to 2 km within 2-3 seconds with greater than 95% success.  Daily readings are achieved from at least 99% of the meters.

Plug and play

Low bit rate.

Not transparently interoperable.

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