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Alliance Formed to Drive Communications Standard for Smart-Grid

Fri, 09/30/2011 - 5:19am

smart grid commsTwelve major players in the smart grid industry are announcing a new global partnership at the Metering Europe Conference in Amsterdam (October 4 - 6, 2011) to support the deployment of the new power line communications protocol called G3-PLC. The partners in the association are led by major players in the smart grid sector, including Enexis, ERDF, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Itron, Landis & Gyr, Nexans, Sagemcom, EDF R&D and Trialog.

The new Power Line Communications (PLC) technology transmits digital information through electrical power

lines using OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and is widely acknowledged to be the most

reliable, secure and cost effective mode of communication for the smart grid today. This new technology, defined

to solve the challenges of tomorrow’s smart grid, has been adopted as the basis for several major standards

such as IEEE, ITU and IEC/CENELEC which offer interoperability with the current G3-PLC specification available

today. G3-PLC products are currently available from major semiconductor and equipment manufacturers and it is

being field tested by several major utilities and organizations worldwide, including ERDF in France.

The alliance was formed to support G3-PLC’s rapid adoption by utilities worldwide in various smart grid

applications such as automatic meter management, EV charging, home energy management, lighting control

and grid monitoring.

Michele Bellon, G3-PLC Alliance President, also President of ERDF, stated “The formation of the G3-PLC

Alliance is an essential step towards smart grids. By attracting leaders across the spectrum of the smart grid

industry, we will be able to drive worldwide adoption and help reduce energy consumption. We ask other industry

players to join our partnership and support this initiative.”

Just as with other ubiquitous communications standards, WiFi and Bluetooth for example, this Alliance has been

created in order to drive widespread adoption of G3-PLC by enabling rapid development up and down the entire

electric power ecosystem.

Chief among the Alliance’s goals are:

- Promote G3-PLC in Internationally recognized standards organizations (IEEE, ITU, IEC, ISO, etc.)

- Promote G3-PLC technical features, performance, and overall value

- Organize certification tests and programs

- Organize and operate the industry users group to maintain the G3-PLC specification and to insure

interoperability

- Support utilities in the deployment of the new G3-PLC communications protocol in their respective

countries

- Promote G3-PLC in other applications such as home/building energy management; home

automation; vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-charging station communications; lighting control and

management; factory automation, and optimization of smart grid performance

G3-PLC is a global open power line communication protocol specifically designed for smart grid communications.

It enables smart meter management, control and monitoring of the electrical distribution network, energy

management, EV charging, lighting control as well as other smart grid applications.

The G3-PLC is designed to operate in 10-490 kHz frequency bands and it is compliant with CENELEC, FCC and

ARIB regulatory bodies. It was designed to meet the following requirements:

• Robustness: communications profile suited to operate in severe noisy environments such as low–

voltage lines, long-range communications in medium-voltage lines, and especially to enable

communication across MV-LV transformers

• Performance: Bi-directional digital communication with data rate up to 300 Kbps

• Simplicity: simple to implement, install (Plug-and-Play), operate and maintain

• Security: it offers a safe environment using AES-128 cryptography engine

• Scalability: Supports IPv6 for new internet-based energy management systems and applications

• Cost: ability to cross MV-LV transformers reduces the number of data concentrators. High speed

communication over very long distances reduces the number of repeaters required

More information at

Electric Utility Enexis www.enexis.nl/site

ERDF www.erdfdistribution.fr/Accueil

Equipment Manufacturer Cisco http://www.cisco.com/en/US/hmpgs/index.html

Itron https://www.itron.com/Pages/default.aspx

Landis Gyr http://www.landisgyr.com/en/pub/home.cfm

Nexans http://www.nexans.com/

Sagemcom http://www.sagemcom.com/index.php?id=1760&L=0

Semiconductor Supplier Maxim Int’gd Products www.maxim-ic.com/products/powerline/g3-plc

STMicroelectronics http://www.st.com/internet/com/home/home.jsp

Texas Instruments

http://www.ti.com/ww/en/smart_grid_solutions/index.htm

R&D Contributors EDF http://www.edf.com/the-edf-group-42667.html

Trialog www.trialog.com

For more information on G3-PLC and how to join please visit www.G3-PLC.com

For more information on ERDF please visit www.erdfdistribution.fr/Accueil

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