Landis+Gyr says G3 PLC is ‘proven success’ in Switzerland

Landis+Gyr G3 PLC
Swiss-based meter maker Landis+Gyr says tests conducted on G3 PLC in Switzerland have proven the technology successful for smart meters

Energy management company Landis+Gyr has said that multiple tests run by the company in Switzerland have established that G3 PLC is ready for use in smart metering.

Writing in a blog posting last week, Michael Staudinger, country manager for Landis+Gyr Switzerland, said the company has been testing G3 PLC technology in Switzerland since the beginning of 2015 using a transformer station, which serves both industrial and residential sectors, provided by AEK Energie AG.

Mr Staudinger said the first generation of PLC communication technologies used spread frequency shift keying (S-FSK) on two frequencies.

The latest technologies are now based on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), which is used successfully in modern radio and powerline communication.

Landis+Gyr’s G3 PLC technology comprises Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), while the E450 meter features an integrated G3 PLC modem.

G3 PLC modulation

Talking more generally about G3 PLC, Staudinger said the spectrum uses 36 carrier frequencies between 36 and 90 kHz and relies on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex modulation.

The type of modulation and the use of robust mode are customised to suit each connection in the network as well as possible, resulting in an increase in speed from 2,400 to 42,000 bits per second.

Tone masking also means that individual carriers can be permanently deactivated to coexist with other PLC communications (e.g. S-FSK) in the same network, said Staudinger.

Landis+Gyr estimates that with more than 50 million measurement points already installed in Europe, PLC technology is now one of the most frequently used communication technologies for smart metering.