Integrating local network stations into the smart grid


Local network stations are the critical communication interfaces for the smart grid. Not all are connected for communication over fibre optic cable or a wireless network. Network technicians are faced with the task of reliably integrating pre-existing and additional meters and switchgear into a smart grid. In addition, communication to these devices must often be capable of withstanding blackouts.


The medium-voltage level becomes communicative


Medium-voltage Powerline communication provides the ability to integrate network stations into energy and data networks. The data signal is transmitted using a PLC modem and signal coupler to the medium-voltage line from a distribution station already accessible for communication. This is how the data reaches the distribution stations that were not previously accessible for communication.


The advantage is that integrating a network station into the smart grid is quick, uncomplicated and cost-effective. Communicating during blackouts is possible through the incorporation of a backup battery.



Expansion of smart metering communication over medium voltage


The roll-out in a network cluster is planned. The measuring point operator has decided in favour of using Powerline as a communications channel to the intelligent measuring system (iMsys). The local network station is planned to be a transfer point. This, however, does not support fibre optic cable connections or mobile communications. Retroactively laying fibre optic cable is complicated and expensive. A wireless connection brings about additional monthly costs. Furthermore, you would then be dependent on a third-party network and its provider.


Medium-voltage lines are data motorways


At the local network station, instead of data transfer having to take place by other means, Powerline communication is continued over the medium-voltage level. In this way the metering data can be transferred via the medium-voltage line to a more remote network station that has a fibre optic connection.
Therefore, thanks to low-voltage and medium-voltage power lines, network clusters can be developed into the smart grid quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Cooperation devolo and Eichhoff

Powerline expert devolo and coupler specialist Eichhoff are a practised team in data communication over the medium-voltage level.


Eichhoff website            Go to press release


"We work very closely together in the area of product development. Due to our close interaction, we can ensure optimal coordination between the medium-voltage PLC modems and our inductive signal couplers. Thus we have succeeded in raising up data communication over medium voltage to a new level."


 Oliver Luft, Head of Sales & Marketing at Eichhoff


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