Communication Technologies and Standards_IEEE.pdf

Includes updating 35 million traditional meters to

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includes updating 35 million traditional meters to Linky smart meters. PLC technology is chosen for data communication be- tween the smart meters and the data concentrator, while GPRS technology is used for transferring the data from the data con- centrator to the utility’s data center [37]. ENEL, the Italian elec- tric utility, chose PLC technology to transfer smart meter data to the nearest data concentrator and GSM technology to send the data to data centers. 1) Advantages: PLC can be considered as a promising technology for smart grid applications due to the fact that the existing infrastructure decreases the installation cost of the communications infrastructure. The standardization efforts on PLC networks, the cost-effective, ubiquitous nature, and widely available infrastructure of PLC, can be the reasons for
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GÜNGÖR et al. : SMART GRID TECHNOLOGIES: COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AND STANDARDS 533 its strength and popularity [23]. Data transmissions are broad- cast in nature for PLC, hence, the security aspects are critical. Confidentiality, authentication, integrity, and user intervention are some of the critical issues in smart grid communications. HAN application is one of the biggest applications for PLC technology. Moreover, PLC technology can be well suited to urban areas for smart grid applications, such as smart metering, monitoring and control applications, since the PLC infrastruc- ture is already covering the areas that are in the range of the service territory of utility companies. 2) Disadvantages: There are some technical challenges due to the nature of the powerline networks. The powerline trans- mission medium is a harsh and noisy environment that makes the channel difficult to be modeled. The low-bandwidth charac- teristic (20 kb/s for neighborhood area networks) restricts the PLC technology for applications that need higher bandwidth [37]. Furthermore, the network topology, the number and type of the devices connected to the powerlines, wiring distance be- tween transmitter and receiver, all, adversely affect the quality of signal, that is transmitted over the powerlines [37]. The sen- sitivity of PLC to disturbances and dependency on the quality of signal are the disadvantages that make PLC technology not suited for data transmission. However, there have been some hy- brid solutions in which PLC technology is combined with other technologies, i.e., GPRS or GSM, to provide full-connectivity not possible by PLC technology. E. Digital Subscriber Lines Digital Subscriber Lines (DSLs) is a high-speed digital data transmission technology that uses the wires of the voice tele- phone network. It is common to see frequencies greater than 1 MHz through an ADSL enabled telephone line [16]. The al- ready existing infrastructure of DSL lines reduces installation cost. Hence, many companies chose DSL technology for their smart grid projects. The Current Group, a Smart Grid Solution Company, has collaborated with Qwest to implement a Smart Grid project. Qwest’s existing low latency, secure, high capacity DSL network will be used for data transmissions. Xcel Energy’s
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