We have learned a recipe for success in deploying power-line communications in industrial applications for example to carry RS-485 format signals over good distances over the 230 volt mains power line.

Let’s look at the challenges and the solutions :-

Challenge

The 230 volt mains is a noisy environment. Interference can come from switched mode power supplies, speed controlled electric motors.

Solution

Use a power-line solution that has built in capability to search out clear frequencies on the line with minimal noise and self-configure itself to use these frequencies for communication

Challenge

In a long run of mains cable there can be different types of cable which means there can be impedance changes on the line.

Solution

Many multiple carrier systems are limited to one modulation scheme. BPSK is excellent for noise resistance but is susceptible to phase changes on the line especially when an impedance change is seen due to different types of mains cable being on the line. Sensitivity to these impedance changes seem to be frequency specific. Therefore a solution that can mix modulation schemes on the frequency carriers will give the best overall performance.

Challenge

Connecting two points is relatively easy but what about the situation where you want to connect more than two units together?

Solution

There are solutions available such as the Gridcomm Din Rail modules and sub-system modules that come with complete networking software which is user ready. This software is auto-routing, and can operate in modes such as a full network or in broadcast modes to all nosed in the system. Semitech Semiconductor also have reference designs for you to build your own modules and a networking software kit which will get you started. This is available under licence and comes with 3 months technical support for you to complete your application. The ultimate are the CE and FCC approved Gridcomm Din Rail modules which ready to deploy right out of the box/

Challenge

I want to use MODBUS protocol will it work on power-line communications? In some applications, you may wish to use MODBUS protocol. Modbus data packets are long. When transmitting data over the mains powerline , it is a fact that the longer the data packets the more likely they are to be corrupted.

Solution

THE Gridcomm and Semitech solution is to segment the long MODBUS data packets into smaller packets and having transmitted them over the power line, the MODBUS packets are transparently re-assembled at the receiving end. So while this adds a little bit of latency, it results in much more robust communication.

Summary

Gridcomm and Semitech can give you robust industrial communications solutions. Gridcomm are off the shelf solution s and the Semitech approach is to give you a good start in order to develop your own in house solution. For high volumes the added development costs make the Semitech solution an economically viable route. However, if you do not have the in-house software skills to develop a systems and the volumes cannot justify a huge investment in the software development then the Gridcomm approach is the most effective approach. Please contact us for more information

We have learned a recipe for success in deploying power-line communications in industrial applications for example to carry RS-485 format signals over good distances over the 230 volt mains power line.

Let’s look at the challenges and the solutions :-

Challenge

  • The 230 volt mains is a noisy environment. Interference can come from switched mode power supplies, speed controlled electric motors.

Solution

  • Use a power-line solution that  has built in capability to search out clear frequencies on the line with minimal noise and self-configure  itself to use these frequencies for communication

Challenge

  •  In a long run of mains cable there can be different types of cable which means there can be impedance changes on the line.

Solution

  • Many multiple carrier systems are limited to one modulation scheme. BPSK is excellent for noise resistance but is susceptible to phase changes on the line especially when an impedance change is seen due to different types of mains cable being on the line.  Sensitivity to these impedance changes seem to be frequency specific.  Therefore a solution that can mix modulation schemes on the frequency carriers will give the best overall performance.

Challenge

  • Connecting two points is relatively easy but what about the situation where you want to connect  more than two units together?

Solution

  • There are solutions available such as the Gridcomm Din Rail modules and sub-system modules that come with complete  networking software  which is user ready. This software is auto-routing, and can operate in modes such as a full network or in broadcast modes to all nosed in the system.   Semitech Semiconductor also have reference designs for you to build your own modules and a networking software kit which will get you started. This is available under licence and comes with 3 months technical support for you to complete your application. The ultimate are the CE and FCC approved Gridcomm Din Rail modules which ready to deploy right out of the box/

Challenge

  • I want to use MODBUS protocol  will it work on power-line communications?  In some applications, you may wish to use MODBUS protocol.  Modbus data packets are long.  When transmitting data over the mains powerline , it is a fact that the longer the data packets the more likely they are to be corrupted.

Solution

  •  THE Gridcomm and Semitech solution is to segment the long MODBUS  data packets into smaller packets and having transmitted them over the power line, the MODBUS packets are transparently re-assembled at the receiving end.  So while this adds a little bit of latency, it results in much more robust communication.

Summary

Gridcomm and Semitech can give you robust industrial communications solutions.  Gridcomm are off the shelf solution s and the Semitech approach is to give you a good start in order to develop your own in house solution.  For high volumes the added development costs make the Semitech solution an economically viable route. However, if you do not have the in-house software skills to develop a systems and the volumes cannot justify a huge investment in the software development then the Gridcomm approach is the most effective approach. Please contact us for more information

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