Maxim Integrated Products announced that its G3-PLC™ protocol has been approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a new low-frequency, OFDM-based narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standard.
In partnership with Electricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF) and Sagemcom, Maxim developed the G3-PLC specification to promote open-endedness and interoperability among smart grid implementations. Currently, the G3-PLC is the only NB-PLC standard that supports the IPv6 internet protocol to allow new internet-based energy management systems. The specification also optimizes bandwidth, corrects errors, and provides a higher data rate that supports two-way communication for demand response and other smart grid applications. The result is an increase in the performance reliability of crossing transformers, enabling a dramatic reduction in deployment costs.
Last year, Maxim introduced the MAX2992, a PLC modem that pairs with the MAX2991 analog front-end (AFE) to provide the first fully compliant G3-PLC chipset solution. Today, several manufacturers offer ITU-compatible G3-PLC solutions based on this chipset, and one such solution is already being deployed in France. With the approval of G3-PLC as an international standard and with available solutions from multiple sources, utility companies can now plan their deployments utilizing G3-PLC to achieve cost-effective smart grid systems with confidence.
Adding intelligence into the existing power grid is a capital-intensive undertaking, and utilities have not wanted to make such a large investment without assurance that the standard they have chosen will be widely adopted. With the ITU’s support, G3-PLC has become one of those accepted standards. "The approved ITU NB-PLC family of international standards will be a fundamental building block for realizing a robust smart grid anywhere in the world, and will allow utilities to start immediate deployment of NB-PLC on a worldwide basis," stated ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré.
Maxim and 11 other companies founded the G3-PLC Alliance last year to support the deployment of the G3-PLC protocol. "Both the formation of the G3-PLC Alliance and the final NB-PLC standard approval from the ITU provide the standardization and support that utilities need to begin deployments with the G3-PLC protocol," said Michael Navid, Executive Business Manager for Powerline Products at Maxim. "The rapid ITU standardization and industry support for the G3-PLC Alliance are testaments to the advantages of G3-PLC and its ability to meet the speed, robustness, and ranges demanded by large-scale powerline networks."
"One of the goals for the G3-PLC Alliance is to support standardization around the G3-PLC specification as an open international standard," said Jean Vigneron, Secretary-General for the G3-PLC Alliance. "ITU is the first standards organization that has fully adopted it. We have this international standard today thanks to the dedication of many experienced experts in the field of communications and advanced metering infrastructure for the past several years."
More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.