PLC, or power line communication, is a method of transmitting data over a power line. PLC is an essential component of the smart grid because it can be used to implement bidirectional communications over existing power distribution networks.
PLC, or power line communication, is a method of communication that employs electrical currents as a transmission medium. Building a system using power lines as the communication network can be done rapidly and cheaply.
This is why PLC is used for communications in the various energy management systems that make up a smart society, such as smart meters (advanced metering infrastructure – AMI), HEMS, BEMS, and solar panel monitoring systems. Electrical current, either alternating or direct, can carry information in a network.
Fire and security alarms, smart lighting, building energy management systems, and solar farms can all benefit from the lower wiring costs made possible by the Powerline Communication solution providers by transmitting data over existing AC and DC power lines.
Types of Power Line Communications:
- Narrowband PLC: Narrowband programmable logic controllers (PLCs) operate at frequencies between 3 and 500 kilohertz. The distance they can travel is several kilometers, but the data rate is very slow. The Smart Grid depends on them.
- Broadband PLC: Broadband PLCs operate at speeds of over 100 Mbps and frequency ranges of 2–250 MHz. They are employed at close quarters. You can use them to automate your house.
Applications of Power Lines:
- Home Networking (LAN): LAN connections in the home can be made using the building’s existing electrical wiring rather than installing new cables. An Ethernet port is required for the devices to communicate. When a power line adapter is plugged into a wall outlet, it creates an ethernet connection.
- Broadband over power lines (BPL): It uses the alternating current (AC) electrical distribution wiring between transformers to send and receive signals in both directions, and the alternating current (AC) low voltage wiring between transformers and customer outlets to transmit signals in both directions.
- In-vehicle network communication: In cars, digital signals travel along the battery cables, which carry direct current.
Applications for Power Line Communication Solutions:
- Smart meter (AMI)
- Smart home and HEMS
- HVAC and lighting control
- Building automation
- EV charging station
- Solar power and smart grid
PLC Evaluation Tools
It is important to evaluate the state of communications when using power lines because of potential interference from noise and line impedance.
It is anticipated that the complexity and scale of PLC networks will increase with the proliferation of smart meters and other smart devices. Several international groups are working to ensure compatibility between these various networks by standardising and developing profiles for communication protocols.
How does power line communication work?
Technology called “Power Line Communication” (PLC) allows for data transmission through the electrical power lines themselves. This means that it is possible to provide power and half-duplex control/data retrieval to an electronic device (for example) using only the power cables.
Where is power line communication used?
In power line communications (PLCs), data is transmitted over standard, low-voltage power lines. Some utilities have already begun using PLC for remote metering and load control. Since the power lines already extend to the meter, it is easily incorporated into the smart metering system.
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