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Powerline data exchange for domestic and industrial automation based on uwb approach


A division of Dunvegan is active in the field of professional audio, which includes audio conferencing and public address systems. For many of their contracts, it has been found that the cost of cabling and system installation represents a high proportion of the system cost. Also, for some applications, it is problematic to install cabling to link the system components together for example in large churches and other listed buildings. Dunvegan is involved with one of the WireNet project demonstrators which is intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using medium data rate WireNet technology to transmit multiple channels of audio via mains power cables. With a successful demonstration of the concept for this application, Dunvegan’s intentions will be to develop commercial versions of their systems benefiting from WireNet technology. Dunvegan will also exploit the WireNet results by distributing the standard WireNet modules within the English speaking countries.
Ardoran are intending to incorporate the WireNet technology into new intelligent lighting control and building management/ automation systems. Sharing a border with Russia results in a large market for sales of products in that country. Following exhibiting at the major international telecomms conference in Moscow in May 2004, a client has identified an application that is highly relevant to WireNet technology. This client is involved in the supply and installation of security systems many of which are used in datchas (summer houses) in the countryside around the major cities. At the present time, there is no completely satisfactory way either to retrofit alarm systems within such houses or to provide a central monitoring service. It is considered that WireNet can provide a solution to both of these problems in this application. Datchas are generally arranged as small closely spaced groupings of houses so it should be possible to link the security systems to monitoring stations via the power cables shared by the buildings.
Fast data communications on powerline domestic networks enable the transmission of multimedia information over an already existing, free carrier. The development of a cheap transmission technology for the transmission of such information is mandatory in home appliances where usually the unit price is a key driving factor. Wirenet technology is a potential candidate for low-end domestic applications (i.e. audio/video door entries and surveillance monitors), where communication bandwidth is of less concern and is traded for saved unit costs.
J.G. Components develops and produces home automation systems. At this time we have a line of products that use a bus (4 wire cable) to interconnect all components. This structure can only be used in new homes. We intend to replace our current communication means by a simpler structure witch provides power and communication over the same lines thus reducing the complexity of the home automation installation. Another application we have for WireNet is the development of a line of products for finished homes. Finally the opportunity to interconnect systems based on the same standard will grant our costumers more comfort and usability of all systems.
ISOMATIC Lab is cooperating with MPS (Multiprocessor Systems Ltd) in evaluating the possible application of this communication means to collect data from electricity meters in large residential buildings. It is planned to be based on the CAN protocol for data exchange.
Ardoran are cooperating with a major operator of oil shale mines in development of a safety system that can benefit from WireNet technology. Oil shale - Polevkivi, in the Estonian language - is an industry of national importance in the North East of Estonia. The mining operators require a reliable communication technology between the surface and the underground mine working areas. Existing systems are adequate for normal operation. However, in the event of an accident, part of the mine can lose power and/ or communication facilities. To re-establish services, a hole 15cm in diameter is drilled to the depth of the underground location, which is typically 50m in depth. A power cable is then put down the hole. There remains the difficulty of how best to restore communication facilities, which is currently unsolved. Radio based systems from the Czech Republic and USA suppliers have been evaluated but these technologies have been found to be unsuitable. Ardoran are currently conducting tests at the mines with a digital audio intercom system. At present, this requires installation of a separate Cat-5 or optical fibre cable down the long emergency hole. It is problematic to install this additional cable and it would be of great benefit to the mine operators if the mains power cable could also be used to provide the emergency communications facility. Ardoran will be working with the mining company with a view to implementing a system based on the WireNet technology. Since WireNet is based on UWB principles, it offers the possibility to transmit the intercom signals via the mains cable and then re-transmit throughout the mine area using UWB radio transmission to provide radio coverage over a wide area. This will involve development of a WireNet to UWB-radio interface converter. Since the power cable down the hole has only one input and one output it represents a simpler topography compared to the mains power wiring in domestic and industrial premises. This will simplify the signal transmission and filtering requirements. As a result, it provides an ideal application for first use of the WireNet results.
A system has been developed for low cost data exchange over powerline based on a digital implementation of a commercial FPGA; the system has been prototyped and validated in its digital side, whereas the analogic implementation has been developed by other participants to the project WIRENET. The protocol implemented is a carrier less one, where the time allocation of short pulses determined the value of the bit. The approach proposed shows good immunity to disturbances and potentially long reach, and can be used from home or small industry implementations, where the good robustness is required together with small size and low cost of components; being the system based on pulses, it does not included oscillators, which reduces costs and size of the device.
NOBO is one of Europe's largest producers of electric heaters. We also produce thermostats for room- and floor heating and mains signalling control system for electrical energy saving in domestic houses. NOBO is experiencing difficulties with the existing mains signalling technology due to noise and disturbances on the grid. We believe that there is a future in mains signalling products for NOBO, given that the technology is functioning faultless and gives advantages compared to the existing technology. NOBO expect to implement the technical results in our control system that will be based on (but not restricted to) the following products: - Central control unit. - Receiver with or without thermostat. - Phase coupler/signal amplifier. These are the basic products that NOBO plan to exploit commercially given that the commercial, technical and financial conditions are fulfilled.

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