Assessment of Smart Meter Communication Over PLC PRIME in a Laboratory Simulating a Real Grid

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CIRED 2019
Conference date
3-6 June 2019
Conference location
Madrid, Spain
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Arsenio, Pedro, EDP Labelec, Portugal
Silva, Marco, EDP Labelec, Portugal
Ribeiro, Diogo, EDP Labelec, Portugal
Barros, Roberto, EDP Labelec, Portugal
Nunes, Pedro, EDP Distribuição, Portugal
The advent of smart grids has raised an increased development of disruptive technologies focusing distributed generation and renewable energy. Recent developments in smart metering has shown potential benefits for both customers and distribution systems operators allowing to improve quality in energy delivery, measurement of bi-directional power flows, remote readings, remote parametrizations, among others. Currently, smart meters are under massive rollout in Portugal, under the framework of InovGrid project. Since many of these meters require communication with a data concentrator over Power Line Communication (PLC) technology, attenuation and noise are relevant aspects for the successful exploitation of the implemented solution.It is intended to answer the following research question: How to improve PLC communication between smart meters and data concentrators in networks affected by severe noise? In order to simulate communication problems detected in the field, a 1000 m power cable and a noise generator are employed to introduce perturbance in the frequency band used by PLC PRIME V1.3.6 belonging at the CENELEC-A band. Communication between the data concentrator and smart meters have been tested under different scenarios, i.e. communication in the presence of noise in the smart meter location combined with distance over power cable (1000 m, 750 m, 500 m, 250 m, or 0 m) between the meters and the data concentrator.A solution for communication enhancement, based on PLC repeaters, is tested in laboratory and discussed. With the proposed solution, the PLC communication between smart meters and data concentrator has been improved.
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