MASTERING POWER LINE COMMUNICATION
Mastery, a guarantee of robustness on the carrier current
The most important things for operators in powerline infrastructure lighting control are reliability, robustness and communication speed. Since there is no tunnel, underpass, detention center, commercial seaport or other infrastructure that has the exact same electrical architecture, site characterization ensures good communication once the installation is complete and optimal configurations are achieved.
The Nyx Hemera Technologies team has developed a unique expertise with characterization methods and tools that enable performance levels to be achieved that sometimes even exceed operators’ expectations.
IN OUR LABORATORY
Figure 1 – Test benches in our laboratory
Nyx Hemera Technologies makes significant investments each year to provide its research and development team with the budgets and space to develop and improve its powerline lighting control products and solutions.
The laboratory is equipped with 6 test benches that simulate tunnel or site environments. The test benches are used individually, in redundancy or in groups depending on the tests to be performed, and allow the simulation of the most demanding environments. Any new product or enhancement to an existing product will be installed on a test bench for several weeks, 24 hours a day, prior to release to ensure a high degree of reliability before deployment to a site.
As an example, tests were performed prior to the installation of new LPC 480s in a project where the older generation of LPCs was already installed to ensure that the LPC 480 was compatible with the older system. The test benches also allow us to characterize different types of filters according to the power of the networks and the different equipment installed in the infrastructures.
On the construction sites
For commissioning purposes, the PLA Tool is a software program that allows us to quickly collect a large amount of data on the signal quality of our network. Signal quality is measured by each of our LPCs (480, twist, lite).
Operators are also equipped with tools to perform oscilloscope measurements in a complementary manner to obtain more accurate/detailed measurements.
The PLA Tool allows:
- Validate/Confirm the electrical installation and configuration of our system
- Validate the quality of the network signal. Ensure that there are no harmful components connected to the network
- Validate the performance of our powerline filters
- Suggest routers to increase signal range.
Figure 2: PLA Tool interface
This analysis is done on the 3 phases of the network which allows us to identify the best phase to inject the signal and to confirm the installation plans provided by the customer. It also validates the performance of the filters installed by Nyx to isolate the system from other electrical networks and confirms that there is no unfiltered parasitic equipment on the network.
In addition, in order to perform communication tests and to easily and quickly characterize message exchanges on the carrier current during a commissioning, a portable router has been developed. Powered by a battery that allows for mobility and equipped with non-invasive couplers, this kit allows the Nyx team to see if a repeater is needed. If this is the case, it allows you to identify the best place to install it without having to cut the electrical wire to install a permanent repeater.
This allows us to ensure signal reliability, regardless of the electrical architecture, distance between nodes and other equipment on the network.
Figure 3: Portable router for commissioning