HomePlug® Alliance Announces Netricity™ Powerline Communications Targeting Smart Meter to Grid Applications
To complement our family of HomePlug products for in-home applications, HomePlug is launching the Netricity PLC (powerline communications) certification brand and marketing program to address the need for longer range powerline networking for outside-the-home, smart grid and industrial applications. The program will promote adoption and provide compliance and interoperability testing of products built on the IEEE 1901.2 Low-Frequency Narrow-Band PLC standard (http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1901/2/).
Netricity PLC will operate in low frequency bands that make it ideal for grid-to-utility meter and other long range, outside-the-home applications. Lighting and solar panel powerline communications are also potential uses for Netricity PLC. The technology will address requirements that assure communication privacy and secure networks. Netricity PLC will complement and coexist with HomePlug’s family of high speed networking specifications, HomePlug AV, HomePlug Green PHY, and the forthcoming HomePlug AV2.
The IEEE 1901.2 standard is built on two field-proven OFDM technologies, PRIME and G3, which have been already chosen by some of the world's largest energy providers including IBERDROLA and ERDF for Smart Meter to the Grid communication. This enables Netricity PLC to deliver a new benchmark of performance and reliability with support for IP (Internet Protocol) standard communications.
“Our goal with Netricity PLC is to provide customers such as utility and energy companies the foundation of a global standard with a competitive ecosystem of certified products from many vendors,” said Rob Ranck, President of the HomePlug Alliance. “Netricity PLC extends the member contributions of the HomePlug Alliance to cover all key markets for powerline communications.”
Smart Grid Solutions from HomePlug Alliance
To learn more about the Netricity standard, click here.
Netricity Powerline Communications - Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What is Netricity Powerline Communications (PLC)?
A: Netricity PLC is the HomePlug Alliance’s certification and marketing program supporting the IEEE 1901.2 standard.
Q: What issues will Netricity PLC address?
A: It is important to utility companies and consumers that a technical standard has certification and marketing support to promote compliance to the standard, multi-vendor interoperability and adoption of the technology. Netricity PLC addresses the issues that may otherwise limit broad market adoption.
Q: Why the HomePlug Alliance?
A: HomePlug is the leading alliance of the powerline communications industry and home to a family of PLC specifications - several of our members are participating in the IEEE P1901.2 working group. It is important to our membership that the 1901.2 standard has a strong certification program in place, and that it is consistent with existing PLC certification programs. HomePlug has the experience, processes, experts and desire necessary to develop and maintain the certification, branding and education programs.
Q: What is the main application for Netricity PLC?
A: The main application for Netricity PLC is narrow band low frequency communications such as Smart Grid to Meter applications outside the home.
Q: How do Netricity PLC and HomePlug Green PHY (GP) differ?
A: Netricity PLC is the marketing brand and certification program for the IEEE 1901.2 standard. IEEE 1901.2 is a narrow band low frequency technology (less than 500 kHz) based on G3 and Prime specifications. The primary application is for long range, outside the home, smart meter to Grid applications at data rates of less than 500 kbps. HomePlug GP is a simplified certification profile of the HomePlug AV standard (IEEE 1901). It’s capable of multi-megabit per second data rates and was developed for smart grid applications inside the home and plug-in electric vehicles. In short, Netricity PLC and HomePlug GP are different protocols that take advantage of the special characteristics of their respective operating frequencies.
Q: How do IEEE 1901 and IEEE 1901.2 relate?
A: These standards are only related by similar project numbers assigned by the IEEE for powerline communication related standards. Also, many of the same companies are involved in both of them. IEEE 1901 is a standard published in 2010 for access and in-home powerline communications that transmits in a broad spectrum above 1.8 MHz at data rates up to 400 Mbps. Its main application is multimedia communications. IEEE P1901.2 is a standard in development that is expected to be balloted for approval in the fourth quarter of 2011. It works below 500 kHz with data rates below 500 kbps and its main application is smart meter to grid communications.
Q: When will the Netricity certification be available?
A: Work has recently begun on the Netricity certification program and the first certified products are expected by mid-2012.
Q: How can companies participate?
A: Companies can participate in building the Netricity PLC program by becoming a HomePlug Participant or Sponsor member. This work is being addressed in the Compliance and Interoperability Working Group and the Narrow Band Task Force. Please visit https://www.homeplug.org for more information.
In addition, companies can participate in IEEE P1091.2 by contacting the IEEE Standards Association. Please visit http://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/1901.2.html for more information.