UK Scientists Successfully Transmit Data through Electric Grid

Transmission tower

Transmission tower. Credit: PD Photo

Data transmission through cables without any loss and that too at a very high speed and laying the separate cables for the same have become a necessity in this century. Laying these cables to have an uninterrupted transfer of data has always been a task and involves huge expenses. But the UK scientists and engineers for the first time in the world have transmitted the data through the existing power grid and without any loss. This certainly is a big breakthrough in virtual power station technology.

The virtual power grids will allow homes and businesses to use energy more efficiently. The system will use the electricity grid itself to send data signals, the technology can be installed and implemented very quickly and that too without the need for additional infrastructure. During the test, the data was sent to 20 receivers on UK’s national grid, and 100% of the signals sent were successfully received. A very high-frequency data was transmitted through the same cables carrying alternating current at 50 Hz. AC frequency 50 Hz is used in most of the world except a few countries like the USA have 60 Hz as standard.

Reactive Technologies (RT) the UK, have developed this technology. They created a data system that sends messages through the same electricity cables to appliances having a smart plug connected to the mains. The signals ask the smart appliance to adjust energy use. This is surely a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations. The connected homes and businesses to this virtual power station will combine to manage electricity use more smartly and efficiently.

In simple words, in a home which is connected to this virtual power grid if an unusually high energy demand arises it would prompt the system to communicate with the smart devices in the home, instructing them to lower consumption, which can be easily achieved by letting the temperature of the freezer increase by 0.5°C or the water heater would turn on at 1 am when there is surplus renewable energy available and needs to be utilized.

When this innovative pioneering technology was first tested on the British national grid and it was a great success. RT set up a handful of electrical devices across the United Kingdom to generate messages and installed 20 listening devices in other places, they communicated and responded too. Electricity cables have been previously used to transmit information signals but only within local networks. The success of RT is of huge magnitude as they have successfully tested it across the UK. The data is inserted in the cables as small changes in the standard signal itself. This allows it to bypass the limitations of sub-station transformers.

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