AMI in China
US based Semtech has been selected by Chinese firm Waison, for the implementation of an AMI project for China Southern Power Grid

Chinese state-owned utility China Southern Power Grid Company on Wednesday engaged US based semi-conductor provider Semtech and China’s smart metering solution company Wasion Group in a G3-PLC rollout.

According to a company statement, Semtech is providing its multimode Power Line Communications (PLC) platforms for communication in RS485 meter aggregators and smart meters to be deployed to residential, commercial and industrial metering points by Waison.

The semi-conductor provider’s EV8.000 PLC will also be employed as the communications modem for the AMI in China.

The project is the first deploying an OFDM-based technology expected to enable higher frequency of meter reads for better demand management, including enabling consumers to monitor their energy usage in China.

Chief technology officer at Wasion Michael Wang said: “Integrating Semtech’s multi-protocol modems allow us to run a G3-PLC PHY while supporting the legacyDL/T645 and Q/GDW376.2 modem interfaces used in Southern Grid.”

Mr Wang added that Waison selected Semtech as a partner in the implementation of the project due to the performance of its modems under challenging network conditions and the fact that Semtech offered the highest density and the lowest bill of material for its external circuitry in the tender process.

AMI in China

China’s rapid movement towards communicating meters makes it by far the largest market worldwide by volume, commented Jacob Pereira, senior analyst at Smart Utilities Infrastructure for research company IHS.

Pereira said IHS estimates that in 2014 nearly half of all electricity meters shipped globally, and more than two-thirds of those shipped in the Asia Pacific region, were installed in China.

With nearly all PLC deployments currently based on older FSK technology, both China's State Grid and China Southern Power Grid are evaluating the broader deployment of OFDM technologies to improve services to  nearly 400 million utility consumers in China, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

China Southern Power Grid covers five Chinese provinces and has more than 36 million utility customers, while State Grid has over 350 million.