Smartgrid leaders form a global alliance to drive G3-PLC implementation worldwide

Smartgrid leaders form a global alliance to drive G3-PLC implementation worldwide

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By eeNews Europe

"Until now, smart grid deployments have been impeded by the lack of standards-compliant solutions," explained Michael Navid, Executive Business Manager for Powerline Products at Maxim. "Building intelligence into the existing power grid will cost tens of billions of dollars. Utilities need a solution that is standards-based to protect their investments, to allow sourcing from multiple vendors, and to facilitate the integration of new services and equipment."

Maxim partnered with ERDF (Electricité Réseau Distribution France) and Sagemcom to define the specification, conduct field tests, and roll out a pilot deployment for customers in France this past summer. In addition, since its release in 2009, the G3-PLC protocol has been field-tested by dozens of utilities and independent organizations worldwide. G3-PLC has been adopted by multiple international standards (ITU, IEEE, and CENELEC), independently tested by dozens of organizations worldwide, and implemented by several major international OEMs.

G3-PLC employs advanced broadband communication techniques to achieve speeds up to 300kbps in the noisy powerline environment. It uses orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) technology to transmit data over multiple carriers, allowing designers to avoid interference at specific frequencies. Additionally, G3-PLC features a robust operating mode, bandwidth-efficient channel coding, and built-in error-correction mechanisms to guarantee reliable transmission-even when noise is stronger than the signal. This robustness substantially reduces deployment costs for utilities.

Unlike other PLC protocols, G3-PLC can communicate across transformers, allowing utilities to connect more users to each data concentrator. This reduces the number of concentrators, saving equipment, installation, and maintenance costs. In addition, G3-PLC can communicate over long-distance medium-voltage lines at high speeds. Tested over 10km (with no repeaters), this capability saves the expense of multiple repeaters, giving G3-PLC a significant cost advantage over other wired and wireless technologies.

The G3-PLC specification uniquely supports the IPv6 Internet-protocol standard to enable Internet-based energy management systems. IPv6 greatly expands the number of addresses available to grid-connected devices, ensuring that utilities can support new applications, such as smart appliances and electric vehicle charging. "In partnership with Maxim, Sagemcom developed the first G3-PLC smart meter solution supporting IPv6" said Eric Rieul, Deputy CEO Sagemcom Energy & Telecom. "That solution is currently being deployed in France demonstrating the ability of this OFDM technology to provide the robustness, speed, and reliability necessary to fulfill the requirements of ERDF and the other utilities."

Operating over a wide 10kHz to 490kHz frequency range, G3-PLC complies with international powerline signaling regulations, including CENELEC, FCC, and ARIB. For more information on G3-PLC Alliance and how to join, please visit

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