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HomePlug Green PHY™ Specification

HomePlug Green PHY™ (“GP”) is a new specification that targets smart grid / smart energy applications.
Download the specification
  • HomePlug GreenPHY Overview (pdf, 551k)
  • HomePlug GreenPHY White Paper (pdf, 1.3m)
  • HomePlug Green PHY™: the perfect fit for Smart Home / Smart Energy applications

    Members of the utility industry who saw powerline networking as a potential communications methodology began collaborating with the HomePlug Alliance back in 2007. HomePlug worked closely with utility companies – a number are members of the Alliance – to identify utility company needs, including the desire for a lower cost, lower resource version of the widely accepted HomePlug AV specification. The result was a dedicated effort to developing the HomePlug Green PHY™ (GP) specification.

    In 2010, the HomePlug Green PHY specification was released to drive emerging smart energy, home automation & control and electric vehicle communication applications. HomePlug Green PHY technology brings a completely new dimension to networking via the powerlines; products based on HomePlug GP are expected to have up to 75% lower cost and 75% less power consumption than HomePlug AV.

    HomePlug GP can be embedded in Smart Home devices such as smart appliances and programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs), electric meters and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) – all applications where low cost is a more important consideration than high data throughput. It can be used in smart energy applications such as demand response, load control, energy efficiency, as well as for home/building automation.

    HomePlug GP technology has obvious advantages versus older, low-speed PLC technolgies. Because GP operates at much higher frequecies, it is much more impervious to noise on the powerline, and GP has no difficulties with phase coupling. Also, as mentioned above, since HomePlug GP is interoperable with HomePlug AV and AV2 and supports both IPv4 and IPv6, it enables a true merging of home automation and home control with high speed digital entertainment home networks. This will make it easy to create apps where energy mangement and home automation are viewed and controlled via a smart TV or smart phone.

    Because HomePlug GP is a manufacturer’s profile of the IEEE 1901 standard and certified by HomePlug, appliance manufacturers can move aggressively to embed HomePlug GP within a variety of end products. For home automation and control, HomePlug Green PHY is expected to quickly supplant older very low speed PLC technologies such as X-10, Insteon and UPB.

    HomePlug Green PHY and Electric Vehicle Charging

    Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging is a major Smart Grid application, with the goal to provide the means of charging PEVs at home, at work, and in public areas such as shopping centers and airports. This is also a global initiative for many major auto manufacturers.

    In 2011, global auto manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen all put their considerable weight behind the HomePlug Green PHY (GP) specification for connectivity with concurrent electric vehicle charging.

    In a statement, the seven auto manufacturers stated, “Providing a harmonized, single-port fast charging approach for electric vehicles in the US and Europe ensures the integration of all charging scenarios into one vehicle inlet/charging connector and uses identical ways for the vehicle to communicate with the charging station.” The manufacturers have all agreed to use HomePlug Green PHY as the common protocol, facilitating the integration of the electric vehicle into future Smart Grid applications.

    For electric vehicles to be widely accepted, they must integrate into existing and emerging charging infrastructures connected to the Smart Grid. For charging electric vehicles, the communication interface is established via the charging connector, and HomePlug Green PHY provides a common communications standard to support all modes of AC and DC charging.

    By committing to a common, recognized standard, automobile manufacturers are able to reduce the build complexity for suppliers and infrastructure providers. With this standard in place, an electric vehicle owner can pull up to any charge port with the confidence it is compatible with their vehicle.

    Enabling applications interoperability with the Smart Energy Profile

    In October 2011, the HomePlug Alliance joined with the Wi-Fi Alliance® and ZigBee® Alliance to sign a ground-breaking agreement formalizing the Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability (CSEP). CSEP will provide the Smart Grid ecosystem – including utilities, product vendors and consumers – confidence in application and device interoperability. CSEP is focused on accelerating the market availability of interoperable Smart Energy Profile 2 (SEP 2) products so that consumers can enjoy the numerous energy management benefits of the Smart Grid via wired and wireless networks. SEP 2 is an Internet Protocol-based application selected in 2009 by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a standard for home energy management devices. Products to be certified as a result of CSEP’s work are expected to include thermostats, appliances, electric meters, gateways, electric vehicles, and countless other devices in the Smart Grid. Further details are at www.csep.org.