devolo concludes comprehensive field test: G3-PLC will be an integral component of the smart grid

In a comprehensive field test, devolo has tested its model for communication in smart grids based on the G3-PLC technology in co-operation with Vattenfall.
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Oct. 18, 2012 - PRLog -- 17 October 2012 – In a comprehensive field test, devolo has tested its model for communication in smart grids based on the G3-PLC technology in co-operation with Vattenfall. It works in the frequency band from 150 to 500 kHz. Vattenfall Europe Metering GmbH was a consultation partner for network technology and infrastructure. The test sample withstood the test well under stress, significantly exceeding previously achieved data rates and ranges. The partners concluded that narrowband PLC communication technology in the 150 to 500 kHz frequency band is ready for the intelligent energy network market.  

G3-PLC already impressive in pre-qualification test

In smart grids, the G3-PLC solution is in direct competition with other IP-based communications technologies such as GPRS or DSL. "In our first prequalification tests, the G3-PLC technology showed some decisive advantages over other technologies. G3-PLC delivers outstanding data rates, even in systems in very deep or low-lying locations," explained Ronny Stark, project manager at Vattenfall Europe Metering.

Comprehensive field test simulates realistic scenario

The G3-PLC technology was tested in a pretest at a Hamburg Vattenfall campus, where a large number of converters and electrical devices are installed, creating very challenging conditions for data transmission. Despite this, both hardware and software performed with no problems.

As the showcase of the actual future field test, a typical urban residential area of Hamburg was modelled with single and multifamily housing as well as a number of small shops. The selection of the test field was made under the new legal basic conditions, which prescribe the use of measuring systems for subscribers and connection users qacco with an annual usage of more than 6,000 kWh per year. The Germany-wide average for this annual usage is between 10 and 15 per cent. Therefore, in the field test, 22 connection objects were equipped with the most modern communications technology. This equates to roughly 10 per cent of the metering points in the field test and roughly 20 to 30 subscribers and connection users per network location.

G3-PLC communication was used to exchange data between the individual nodes. The power lines in the low-voltage range can also be used in this way for IP-based data communication. This is essential in smart grids, because in modern power grids, a large amount of data on power supply and energy usage is collected dynamically. The comprehensive test showed what the PLC can do under a heavy load and that it is ready for the applications of the future.

Proven functionality

In the field test, the time-related and financial budgeting of the equipment of the test field as a segment of a smart grid cluster were tested. Setting up the measuring points took a very little time and only a handful of staff which made both project partners happy and demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of PLC-based access communication. The system test that followed demonstrated clearly with various load simulations that the G3-PLC technology can fulfil the requirements of all current and future smart grid applications. It could even achieve a significantly higher data rates and an improved range in comparison to that of current PLC competitor technologies.

Market-ready, for the future of the energy grids

The G3-PLC technology demonstrates solid properties in the test field, which bode well for its use in the smart grid of the future. "We are pleased with the results of the field test, which prove the performance abilities of narrowband PLC technology (150-500 kHz) in the access area and demonstrate its market-readiness," commented Heiko Harbers, CEO of devolo AG.  "In Vattenfall Europe Metering, we have a strong partner with whom we will be implementing some major projects."

This text can also be downloaded from the media section of the devolo website at Your power line can do more – watch informative videos about dLAN on YouTube at

About devolo AG

devolo AG is the leading European company on the market in Powerline communication solutions. The company's core product is dLAN®, a technology that allows flexible networks using existing wiring like electrical and coaxial lines. Powerline solutions are employed in private households as well as commercial environments and they lead the way in future-oriented energy data distribution and home automation. devolo invests its development resources into improving dLAN® technology through its own patented solutions. The globally operating company has been the world market leader in the Powerline segment since 2009. Numerous top-product test reviews and distinctions, not to mention over 16 million shipped adapters, substantiate devolo's success. Through sustainable market practices, devolo upholds its responsibility to customers, employees and the environment.
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