PLC BPL - PowerLine Communication - Broadband over PowerLine

PLC BPL Concept

1. Definitions - History

This technology exists since a long time, but has been used only for power relay control (low transfer rate) and street lighting. The broadband on PLC only started by the end of the 90's.

Mid-80: Begining of research on use of the power grid as support for data transport on the 5 - 500 kHz band in unidirectionnal mode.

1997: First bidirectionnal data transmission tests on power grid. Ascom (Switzerland) and Norweb (UK) start their own research.

2000: Various experiments in France by EDF R&D and Ascom.

However, the power grid hasn't been designed for high frequency data transport. Thus, it took many years to obtain a viable technology

2. Operating principle

The PLC, or Communication on PowerLine, is a technic that permit the use of low and medium voltage power lines (230v to 36kV) as a way to send high frequency waves (9 kHz to 30 MHz) by coupling signals (50 Hz in France).

This technology permit the data transport with differents rates by using advenced modulation technics.

3. Use of PowerLine Communication

PLC benefit:
  • ⇒ All purpose data transmission without adding any cable or communication wire
  • ⇒ Electrical power grid used as “route” for these datas
  • ⇒ Flexibility and easy installation
Non-exhaustive list of possibles use:
  • ⇒ Internet data transport
  • ⇒ IP Camera data transmit
  • ⇒ Distant lighting switch command
  • ⇒ Distant metering
  • ⇒ High voltage switch command

Beamtek's Technology

Beamtek's Technology concept

CPL API 2000 xxx Modem permit to send and receive data for client applications on the existing power grid.

Can be used as master, repeater or slave depending on the needs and the power grid's typology.

Usable on low and medium voltage power grid.

Approximately 1 km scope (depending on the power grid's typology)

CPL APA 2000 Modem permit to send and receive data for client applications on the existing power grid.

Usable onlye as a slave.

Usable on low voltage power grid only.

Beamtek's architecture permit the creation of a full and high speed IP network between the diffrents PLC modems (max rate 200Mb/s).

Beamtek technology it's:

  • ⇒ The cheap and easy way to create a full IP network...
    • Less cables = Less money to spend and less manpower (installation speedup)
  • ⇒ The ability to have and keep highspeed data rate (comparing to consumer equipment)
  • High flexibility. Quick and easy element addition on the network

Systems componants

Beamtek PLC Modem

Medium voltage coupler

Low voltage capacitive coupler (up to 400Vac)
Medium voltage capacitive coupler (up to 36kVac)
Medium voltage inductive coupler (up to 400A)

Customer cases

Installation - Rue des Marroniers – Lyon - France

Installation into a restaurant
Power type: : Low voltage
  • Distribute an internet access into a couple of buildings
  • Transmit video surveillance datas
  • Deploy an ambience media player

Installation - Confluence – Lyon - France

Installation into an ERDF source substation, and many differents high voltage/low voltage conversion points. (Smart Grid Application)
Power type: : High and low voltage
  • Distant metering on photovoltaic power plants
  • Data transmission to the source substation for data treatment
  • Data transmission over the differents power lines (low voltage, medium voltage and high voltage)
  • Design and creation of interface profession cards for meters and Beamtek technology