Siemens has launched a power line carrier system to transmit growing amounts of data from digital high-voltage substations.

The system offers Ethernet/IP communication using the high-voltage lines between substations. This is done by overlaying a modulated carrier frequency on the frequency of the transmission voltage in the overhead lines, Siemens said.  

A broader frequency band is used – up to 256 kHz – than traditional power line carrier systems, which use bandwidths of up to 32 kHz. Siemens said the new system allows a bidirectional data rate of up to 2.5 megabits per second (Mbps).

Data transmitted from high-voltage substations has traditionally been generated only by grid control and remote control technology, which meant that only low transmission rates were needed. With increasing digitalization, continuous monitoring and forecasting components such as sensors and actuators, remote control units, phase angle measuring units, fault recorders, power quality recorders and video surveillance equipment generate growing amounts of data which require higher bit rates. In addition, centralized data analysis and other service applications need more bandwidth for wide area communication networks (WAN), Siemens said, as does maintaining data security.

According to the company, the system can replace traditional systems and can be integrated into the existing power line carrier infrastructure. 

Overall, the system “meets the demand for more bandwidth and ensures that the constantly growing volumes of data in high-voltage substations can be used for efficient grid operation,” Siemens said.