051_EETE-VF

EETE OCTOBER 2012

LAST WORD André rousselot Smart grids turnublisher P +32 27400053 to wireless systems andre.rousselot@eetimes.be editor-in-Chief Julien happich +33 153907865 By Gert Skriver julien.happich@eetimes.be editors AS ONE OF VERY FEW smart metering- ence a PLC-based meter reading system nick flaherty providers Kamstrup offers RF-commu- because the communication unit in the +44 7710236368 nication in their smart metering-system meter is affected by the total amount of nick.flaherty@eetimes.be and has done so for more than ten years. disturbances generated by all installed Christoph hammerschmidt Seen from Kamstrup’s point of view, the equipment in a house. So when substan- +49 8944450209 reason why wireless systems prevail tial changes happen simultaneously – like chammerschmidt@gmx.net in smart grid technology is simple: RF the out-phasing of the incandescent ContributinG editors works – a plain fact which is being cor- light bulb – the meter reading system Paul buckley roborated by numerous, high-performing can be affected in spite of the regulatory +44 1962866460 RF-based systems from all over the fulfilments of the individual product. With paul@activewords.co.uk world. the Smart Grid ahead such substantial Jean-Pierre Joosting In the past, Kamstrup has offered changes will be even more frequent. The +44 7800548133 RF and PLC solutions together, but has implementation of renewable energy jean-pierre.joosting@eetimes.be now terminated its PLC programme sources are being followed up by still as RF very soon began to show much more electric applications that will have CirCulAtion & finAnCe more convincing results. The evidence is unpredictable influences on the grid. Ra- luc desimpel plenty. Sweden was one of the first coun- dio Frequency communication systems luc.desimpel@eetimes.be tries to roll out smart meters nationwide, are not submitted to the same restric- AdvertisinG ProduCtion & and now the Swedish case study offers tions as cabled systems are. The wireless rePrints experience to learn from. Many utilities technology enables a mesh-system lydia Gijsegom who first opted for a PLC-solution have where up to 1,000 meters are mutually lydia.gijsegom@eetimes.be afterwards switched to an RF-solution as connected in networks communicating PLC showed poor performance on meter with one of two concentrators. Power Art MAnAGer readings, of which 60 to 90 % was trace- line networks lack the fallback possibil- Jean-Paul speliers able to grid disturbances. Some have ity if a communication line is broken or ACCountinG chosen to mend the problem by installing filled with noise. In radio you will have ricardo Pinto ferreira expensive filters. hundreds of alternative routes handled Some PLC-providers therefore take automatically by the network as it is not reGionAl AdvertisinG reservations against grid disturbances stuck with the physical wires. The Radio rePresentAtives when guaranteeing 100% performance Mesh Network is composed exclusively Contact information at: claiming disturbances to be a separate of meters and concentrators so there is http://www.electronics-eetimes.com/en/ problem to be dealt with and thus push- no extra infrastructure to build up in radio about/sales-contacts.html ing it back to the utility. But the fact is solutions. All meters also act as repeat- that cables are simply a hard environ- ers for the radio mesh network. Formerly ment for communication. The increased RF-communication was handicapped disturbance level in the grid which by short range and expensive antenna- european caused many PLC networks to fail in installations at the metering points. At business press Sweden could for a large part be traced the same time the communication was EuropEan BusinEss prEss sa to the massive exchange of incandescent confined to license free bands which 7 Avenue Reine Astrid light-bulbs with low-energy light bulbs. All often raised the question of interference 1310 La Hulpe electric devices which are connected to problems. This has practically never been Tel: +32 (0)2 740 00 50 the grid are also potential sources of grid a real problem, but it could arouse some Fax: +32 (0)2 740 00 59 disturbance as they not only consume scepticism towards RF. www.electronics-eetimes.com power from the grid, but also return elec- Some years ago, Kamstrup decided VAT Registration: BE 461.357.437 tromagnetic disturbances. The Electro- to use licensed frequency bands for the RPM: Brussels magnetic Compatibility-directive (EMC) routing communication between the me- Company Number: 0461357437 regulates how much disturbance electric ters. These licensed bands are country © 2012 e.b.P. sA devices may cause. But even though specific and often reserved for specific the equipment which is now causing purposes like meter reading which elimi- ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMES EUROPE is published 11 times in 2012 by European Business Press SA, problems in Sweden may comply with nates interference and opens up for the 7 Avenue Reine Astrid, 1310 La Hulpe, Belgium Tel: +32-2-740 00 50 Fax: +32-2-740 00 59 the EMC-directive, it is still liable to influ- use of a much higher transmission power email: info@eetimes.be. VAT Registration: BE 461.357.437. RPM: Nivelles. Volume 14, Issue 10 EE Times P 304128 than in license free bands. The higher It is is free to qualified engineers and managers involved in engineering decisions – see: Gert Skriver is Corporate Editor at power results in higher stability in the http://www.electronics-eetimes.com/subscribe Kamstrup - www.kamstrup.com – He meter readings and a considerably longer Copyright 2012 by European Business Press SA. All rights reserved. P 304128 can be reached at ges@kamstrup.dk range, with compact internal antennas. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2012 51


EETE OCTOBER 2012
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