World’s first active line impedance stabilizer for powerline communications

World’s first active line impedance stabilizer for powerline communications

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Schaffner has launched the world’s first Active Line Impedance Stabilizer (ALIS) for powerline communications in smart grid applications.

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.

Smart cities require power distribution to be more flexible. 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 ALIS devices are typically used by grid operators to improve the powerline communicatios 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.

ALIS ensures there are 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, can be DIN-Rail mounted and is safe for service engineers to work on.

This enables reductions in meter reading costs and increased meter availability with 15-minute snapshots of consumption transmitted once per 24 hours to network planners providing information of how the network is performing. Extensive support from Schaffner, the market leader in EMC solutions, flexible supply with audits and product tracing are available.

“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,” said Holger Urban, Head of Product Management at Schaffner. “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.”

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