October 29, 2007 -- Arkados has been awarded a United States patent titled "Coupling between Powerline and Customer in Powerline Communication Systems." According to a press release, the US Patent Office awarded the company patent number 7,286,812 on October 23, 2007.
"This invention offers an elegant and non-obtrusive way for utility companies or service providers to connect in-home powerline networks to communications signals running on the power grid," comments Oleg Logvinov, president and CEO of Arkados.
The company has been ongoing in its pursuit of powerline communications technology -- also known as Broadband Power Line or BPL -- for in-home, to-the-home, smart grid and "green power" applications. The new patent covers fundamental methods and systems to enable construction of end-to-end powerline networks, says the company.
According to the company, a powerline communications (PLC) network on a utility company's medium-voltage power grid can send data to homes and businesses; likewise, PLC devices in the home can be used for networking, entertainment, surveillance and other applications, and may access services from the utility company.
The problem, contends the company, lies in routing the signals past a power transformer that was not designed for communication applications. Therefore, the company maintains that the invention in the patent "is focused on the way of coupling and offers a low-cost alternative for installation of powerline communications connections between the medium-voltage outdoor powerline distribution networks, and the low-voltage electrical wiring inside the home of a consumer."
According to the company, the invention also may help to simplify installations, because the device uses inductive coupling and is designed to simply clamp onto the medium voltage wire. Therefore, installation requires no power shut-off, and does not expose the installer to dangerous voltages.
The device can also be used to couple PLC signals around power meters or other such devices.