Press release

Smart Grid / 08.12.2014

Milestone for G3-PLC: devolo AG, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH and Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH launch initial mini-rollout with 1,000 G3-PLC modems


devolo and the power companies in Berlin and Hamburg, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH and Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH, are strengthening their collaboration. After successful field tests of G3-PLC technology, the companies are planning an initial rollout with a total of 1,000 Powerline modems. As part of this pilot test, typical service areas in the two large German cities with up to 500 units each will be networked together via 500 kHz Access PLC based on low-voltage infrastructure. After the positive field tests, plans call for testing the performance capability of the G3-PLC technology in an urban environment using a full-scale configuration in these independent network areas. The beginning of the pilot test is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015. The initial results are expected in April 2015. The power companies in Berlin and Hamburg are investing more than 150,000 euros into the project.

Initial mini-rollout based on G3-PLC technology

With an initial rollout, Powerline pioneers devolo AG, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH and Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH want to demonstrate the performance capability of G3-PLC technology. As part of the joint co-operation for testing data communication in the access area, the companies are planning a comprehensive pilot test in the first quarter of 2015. Here, for the first time, a total of 1,000 Powerline modems will be used simultaneously as part of a large-scale project.The project is controlled by Vattenfall Europe Metering GmbH, which acts as a measuring point operator in the Berlin and Hamburg network areas and was in charge back during previous field tests. devolo G3-PLC technology is setting a new milestone again with the rollout. No other Powerline-based technology for communication at the low-voltage level has been tested in a way as extensive and hands-on as this.

Typical test areas in Berlin and Hamburg

The network areas for the pilot test in Berlin and Hamburg have already been selected. In making this choice, the project managers at Vattenfall Europe Metering GmbH focussed on typically urban scenarios. As a result, the clusters have been selected based on frequently occurring mixed development zones. Each of the test areas has a higher-than-average density of commercial units equipped with a G3-PLC modem. For realistic evaluation of the transmission capacity, the devolo modems accurately emulate the data traffic of a smart meter gateway using an integrated data generator.The pilot test goes well beyond the requirements of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology‘s ‘Cost-benefit analysis for the comprehensive use of smart metering systems‘ created by Ernst & Young. devolo and Vattenfall will work together to test a full-scale configuration for the first time, thus also testing the performance of G3-PLC technology in regards to future requirements.

devolo G3-PLC modem 500k is ready for series production

The devolo Access Powerline modem provides the technical basis for the mini-rollout The G3-PLC modem 500k recently became ready for series production and, as a result, is being used in the pilot test for the first time in its final compact DIN rail format. For an efficient Access Powerline connection, the transmission band between 150 kHz and 500 kHz is being used. Here, the Powerline benefits of long range and ideal transfer rate is combined with sufficient capacity reserves for future applications. The devolo modem also proved its value in extensive tests of the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Technical presentation on the rollout at the EUW trade fair in Amsterdam

Dr. Michael Koch, Vice President Strategic Positioning at devolo AG, will provide the first look at the newest product rollout with a technical lecture as part of the European industry European Utility Week trade fair (November 4-6, Amsterdam). devolo will also provide information on the scheduled pilot test at the G3-PLC Alliance booth.

"After the positive result of the pre-qualification test and the successful field test, the full configuration of several independent network areas is the next logical step in testing G3-PLC technology," says Jan-Philipp Blenk, Project Manager at Vattenfall Europe Metering GmbH. "The devolo solution for data communication over the low-voltage level has proven to be extremely high-performance. It also enables cost-efficient integration, two critical advantages that spur us on to do more testing."

"The detailed testing of G3-PLC technology in co-operation with Vattenfall and the power companies in Berlin and Hamburg has already allowed us to gather a great deal of valuable information. This flowed directly into the further development of the product," explains Heiko Harbers, CEO of devolo AG. "The first pilot test with full-scale configuration is a new milestone here which will show the performance capability and reliability of this technology under real-world conditions."