Communication Technology

Power factor correction as communication interface - Current modulated communication ECPLC by PFC-devices

Ref.-No. 4824

Keywords: Leistungsfaktorkorrektur, Datenübertragung, strommodulation, Stromleitung, Netzstabilität, Netzmanagement, Authentifizierung, Identifizierung, Power factor correction, data transmission, current modulation, power line, grid stability, grid management, authentication, identification

In today's - and more important - in the future electricity grid, there will be an increasing number of small energy feeders, so that grid regulation becomes more complex. In order to be able to integrate consumers into control systems in a user-friendly manner, it is necessary to know which consumers and feeders are currently connected to the grid or which are located in a particular part of the network. In order to send small data packages for user authentication to a communication or control unit, particularly current-modulated data are suitable. These are virtually uninterrupted and can only be detected within limited network areas. Combined with the Plug'n'Control process with ref. No. 4057, intelligent billing systems and cascaded control systems can be set up for mobile consumers such as electric vehicles. Even normal Schuko and CEE sockets are compatible with the system. The Electric Current Power Line Communication (ECPLC) is a new process that extends circuitry for power factor correction (PFC) in switching power supplies and charge rectifiers to intelligent communication interfaces. Due to the particular propagation characteristics of the messages, only control systems can receive the messages along the path from  user to area network station and couple with the load. PFC circuits suitable for this method are typically integrated into all devices with a power consumption of 75 watts or more to meet EMC requirements.


  • Switching power device as communication interface
  • Terminal identification and coupling with control and metering systems with switching power supplies
  • Alternative identification method for RFID / NFC and QR codes
  • High safety from interceptionLimited data spread on the line
  • Additional data for grid controlIncrease of grid stability
  • Low effort for implementationCost efficient

Commercial Application

ECPLC can be integrated into the power supply of a load and send data, e. g. coupling messages for control and billing systems in the electromobility (EV), to a control system. Systems that have so far used QR codes and RFID / NFC tags for a user log on can now convert to Plug'n'Play devices (for example EV load points). In addition, current operating conditions such as the current power consumption of the end user or the operating range of a PV inverter can also be transmitted. ECPLC is particularly suitable for the construction of intelligent-energy and network-bottleneck management systems as well as the construction of billing systems.

Status Quo

A German patent application was filed, international applications are still possible. The method has been experimentally verified. On behalf of the Dortmund University of Technology, we offer interested companies the opportunity to license and further develop the Technology.

An invention of TU Dortmund.

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Brennemann
+49 208 9410533