International PLC data communication standard for grid automation and smart metering proposed by Siemens


Jan Mrosik,
CEO, Siemens
Smart Grid Division
Nuremberg, Germany — (METERING.COM) — November 14, 2012 – The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (Cenelec) has accepted the transport profile of Siemens’ distribution line carrier communications protocol, CX1, as a standardization proposal.

As the basis for the transmission protocol, which uses the low voltage network as a communications channel for data of grid sensors and smart meters, the transport profile has been designed to ensure interoperability in accordance with EU Mandate M/441.

CENELEC TC 13 will forward the CX1 transport profile to TC 57 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a proposal for inclusion in the IEC standardization process.

“For us, this is a big step towards a standard for open and fault tolerant communication via powerline in intelligent power supply grids,” said Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Smart Grid Division in the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector.

CX1 is based on spread spectrum modulation, in which multiple frequencies within the same frequency band are used simultaneously to transmit a single signal. This means that interference, which often occurs at certain frequencies, has only a negligible effect on signal transmission. In addition, the communications protocol can handle any change in the physical communication parameters of a low voltage power supply grid, such as signal attenuation, noise, network disruption and signal coupling, as well as operational changes in network configuration.

The protocol also offers room for maneuver in terms of integrating additional transmission protocols and future smart grid functions, such as the secure transmission of load control signals or the transmission of network quality data. Furthermore, it can be integrated into existing IEC-protocol-based network automation and energy management infrastructures.

CX1 is already used to connect meters and other intelligent terminal devices in Siemens’ smart grid metering systems, such as in the load switching devices which will replace household ripple control receivers. The systems collect energy consumption data and network information, which are then relayed to a control center for further processing.