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Region:

Czech Republic

Challenge:

Uninterrupted data rates varied from a minimum of 26 Mbit/s to 46 Mbit/s over sections of cable of an average of 500m, a level of bandwidth and reliability suitable for SCADA communications.

Solution:

Broadband Powerline data transmission, control and monitoring of transformer station, communicating with:
• fully automated distribution transformer stations
• monitored transformer stations
• transformer stations without monitoring and control technologies

In Brno Czech Republic, Broadband Powerline (BPL) communications extend SCADA communication to hard-to-reach inner city areas.

Modernisation of power grids with high speed cable is relatively straightforward on the high voltage grid, but communication and control are also needed on the low voltage grid. This presents significant infrastructure challenges in hard to reach locations such as the historic centre of Brno, in Czech Republic.

PPC’s Czech partner and reseller CleverPower has proved the value of broadband powerline communications in this scenario, showing that the reach of E.ON Distribuce’s SCADA can be successfully extended to cover hard-to-access areas, using PPC’s BPL.

Background

Currently, EON Distribution a.s. (E.ON) is able to remotely monitor and manage a real-time distribution network at 110/22kV substations (as well as part of the 22kV network, such as remotely controlled switch disconnectors and reclosers). EON has the necessary communication and technology infrastructure for SCADA to monitor the network status online and respond instantly by changing settings in real time.

However, with the development of smaller decentralised sources, changing end-customer behaviour, e-mobility and other influences, utilities like E.ON have a growing need to monitor and manage the 22kV and even the low voltage 0.4 kV grid.

Some distribution transformer stations (DTS) are already installed with technologies for measuring voltage and current, power switching elements and RTUs that support on-line communication, others not. A solution is needed that can reach all the DTS and connect them to the SCADA systems.

With this development, the question arises of how to ensure reliable communication to and from the DTS level, with enough bandwidth for SCADA to function correctly.

 

Closing the gap

CleverPower’s BPL proof of concept in Brno city centre proposed basic architecture requirements to prove that PPC’s BPL communication technology was the ideal solution to complete the chain of communications.

Integrating the equipment in the transformer stations ws a primary goal, also defining requirements for independent communication over the power lines. This was needed to extend the functionality of the fibre network (terminating in the 110/22 kV substations) as well as extend TCP/IP communication the DTS level.

In the project, PPC  and CleverPower simulated various types of communication in terms of data transmission, and control and monitoring of the transformer station, to verify the means of communication with:

  • fully automated distribution transformer stations,
  • monitored transformer stations and;
  • transformer stations without monitoring and control technologies.

A further extension of the concept was to create a communication layer for voltage measurement at the LV level. This added the possibility of testing the coexistence of BPL networks at the MV and LV levels, and connecting LV by a meshed network and collecting data from the devices being monitored.

The possibility of using inductive and capacitive couplers was also tested.

One of E.ON Distribuce’s requirements was to verify compatibility with operational and safety regulations. Safety procedures did not allow testing of remote control of devices, such as disconnectors or reclosers, on the DTS MV side unless these devices were connected to a SCADA system. For this reason, functionality at the LV level was proven virtually, with simulated data.

Result: CleverPower proves stable, broadband communication using PPC’s BPL.

Uninterrupted data rates varied from a minimum of 26 Mbit/s to 46 Mbit/s over sections of cable of an average of 500m, a level of bandwidth and reliability suitable for SCADA communications.

Trafo E.On Tschechien
PPC Rugged BPL DC Modem

About E.ON Distribuce a.s.

E.ON Distribuce has been operating on the Czech market since 1998 supplying electricity to 1.2 million customers and natural gas to more than 220,000 customers, mainly in southern Bohemia and southern Moravia.

 

About CleverPower

CleverPower focuses on digitalisation in industry and utilities, helping customers adapt to new trends, and supporting the development, implementation of new processes and technologies. Customers include energy companies, car manufacturers and dealers as well as industrial companies.

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