T&D World Magazine

TI Controller Technology Improves Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency for electric metering systems by up to 30 percent and helping streamline utility business operations, Incotex Co. Ltd., Moscow, is leveraging multiple technologies from Texas Instruments in its meter management solutions now being implemented throughout Russia, Kazahstan, the Ukraine and Belorussia. TI's MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) and TMS320C2000 digital signal controller (DSC) technologies help utility companies comply with environmental protection standards, minimizing power leakages while also advancing customer service with automatic outage detection and more accurate, timely readings.

Based on TI's TMS320F28015 DSC, MSP430F155 and MSP430FE427 ultra-low power MCUs and data converters, Incotex's automated meter management (AMM) systems for electrical power distribution networks are optimized to deliver efficiency capabilities to utility providers and end-users around the world.

Incotex's Mercury AMM system for electrical power distribution networks uses TI controller technology to provide automated data collection directly from consumer energy meters over power lines. This makes it possible for electrical utilities to easily detect and correct the location of energy losses. TI's ultra-low power MSP430 MCU helps reduce the meters' energy loss up to 30 percent through detection of electric energy loss and theft.

With Mercury PLC AMR, utilities also have the ability to enable "time of day pricing" to better match prices to the cost of generating and delivering power. Consumers also receive more accurate and timely information on electrical consumption, which helps them reduce costs by making better energy purchase decisions. Substantial cost reductions are also possible through the elimination of manual meter reading at the consumers' site through powerline communication between the utility and meter.

High-performance signal processing is critical to ensuring that two way communications between the utility and meter are received and sent over power lines, as the infrastructure was not initially designed to handle communications traffic. Incotex's Mercury PLC AMR transmits data at up to 100 different frequencies in two directions, ensuring reliable and accurate transmission in high noise conditions. The Mercury PLC uses TI's F28015 DSC to simultaneously provide orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), which transmits multiple signals simultaneously over a single path. Additionally, the TI DSC is used for phase shift keying (PSK) of the frequency hopping carrier, which varies the phase of the transmitted signal to convey information. TI's DSC also handles OFDM signal processing through the implementation of Fast Fourier Transform calculations that analyze the frequencies contained in a sampled signal.

TI's TMS320C2000 DSCs provide 32-bit fixed-point and floating-point offerings with up to 150 MHz performance, 512-kbyte flash and 68-kbyte of SRAM memory. The 60MHz TMS320F28015 controller used in the Mercury PLC modem is a single-chip solution with a fast 12-bit ADC and PWM generators that perform the digital to analog conversion.

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