Active line impedance stabilizer improves power line communication between public power grid and smart meters
Published: 6 April 2021 - Rachael Morling
Schaffner has announced the introduction of what it states is the world’s first Active Line Impedance Stabilizer (ALIS). The ALIS is designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for power line communication between the public power grid and smart meters. It introduces an impedance “barrier” between the smart meter and the household without affecting the smart meter’s communication.
There is a world-wide trend for city-developers to transform their infrastructure into smart grids. In smart cities power distribution will be more flexible. Traditionally energy distribution was linear; with large power stations producing energy transferred over a power grid to consumers. With the introduction of solar power and other renewable sources a consumer can become a producer and sell electricity back to energy companies. To keep up with such new developments, smart energy grids can help to organise this new model for distribution of electrical energy.
The new Schaffner ALIS brings benefits to every part of smart meter roll out. Key features for systems developers include no losses at main frequency, no reactive power losses, no galvanic connection in power line, no contact reliability risk which assures safe use and fail proof operation protecting the system, and very low extra energy costs providing cost saving compared to passive solutions. ALIS is small and lightweight compared to passive solutions, may be DIN-Rail mounted and is safe for service engineers to work on.
Programme managers and buyers will appreciate the reductions in meter reading costs, increased KPI with 24hr availability, and increased meter availability with15-minute snapshots of consumption transmitted once per 24 hours to network planners providing information of how the network is performing. Extensive support form Schaffner, the market leader in EMC solutions, flexible supply with audits and product tracing are available.
Holger Urban, Head of Product Management at Schaffner, comments, “The new Schaffner ALIS is set to become electricity companies first choice to clean the G3-PLC networks after smart meter roll-out and is ideal for troubleshooting in PLC networks. In the event of communication being influenced by load side machines with low impedances for example solar inverters or lifts, the Schaffner Line Impedance Stabilizer can help to re-establish communication. The ALIS can optionally also help in noisy situations, caused by defective or not EMC compliant products connected on the load side”
ALIS are typically used by grid operators to improve PLC after a smart meter roll-out. If the smart meter cannot be reached and the reason is low impedance problem on the customer side, the ALIS is the device of choice. The ALIS will introduce up to several tens of Ohm of impedance in the frequency range enhancing the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNRE) for more reliable power line communication. It supports G3, as well as other CENELEC A band standards.