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IEEE PROGRESSES P1901.2™ LOW FREQUENCY (BELOW 500 kHz) NARROWBAND POWER LINE STANDARD FOR SMART GRID APPLICATIONS

Contact:
Shuang Yu, IEEE-SA Marketing Manager
+1 732-981-3424, shuang.yu@ieee.org

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 19 May 2011 — IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) today announced the IEEE P1901.2 Low Frequency (less than 500 kHz) Narrow Band Power Line Communications Working Group (WG) made significant progress with the draft standard during its recent meeting in Las Vegas, 11-15 April. To continue the momentum, the diverse cross-industry body of members will assemble again at the next IEEE P1901.2 WG meeting being held 6-10 June 2011 in Sicily, Italy. Details of the meeting can be found by on the P1901.2 Working Group page. external link

What:
IEEE P1901.2 draft standard specifies communications for low frequency (less than 500 kHz) narrowband power line devices via alternating current and direct current electric power lines. It supports indoor and outdoor communications over low voltage line (between transformer and meter, less than 1000 V), through transformer low-voltage to medium-voltage (1000 V up to 72 kV) and through transformer medium-voltage to low-voltage power lines in both urban and in long distance (multi- kilometer) rural communications. This standard addresses grid to utility meter, electric vehicle to charging station, and within home area networking communications scenarios. Lighting and solar panel power line communications are also potential uses of this communications standard.

IEEE P1901.2 will also implement a coexistence mechanism that will be activated in cases where single carrier technologies are already deployed.

Who:
IEEE P1901.2 is a corporate project using a one-company, one-vote principle. The membership of the IEEE P1901.2 WG provides a balanced representation of the industry. Stakeholders at every level of the value chain are involved in the standards development process, including semiconductor manufacturers, meter and systems manufacturers, software developers, service providers and utilities. The membership of the group continues to grow, and during the April meeting, a dozen new engineers from varying industries participated for first time. IEEE P1901.2 WG members include:

Accent S.p.A. EDF/ERDF Power Plus Communications AG
Accenture EnVerv, Inc. Realtek Semiconductor Corp
Aclara/Esco Technologies Inc. HomePlug Powerline Alliance Renesas
Advanced Communications Networks iAd GmbH, Germany Sagemcom Energy & Telecom
ADD Semiconductor Iberdrola Schneider Electric
Alliander Iskraemeco Semitech Semiconductor
Cisco Itron STMicroelectronics
Current Technologies International Kawasaki Microelectronics Texas Instruments Inc.
devolo AG Landis+Gyr Watteco
Duke Energy Lantiq Yitran Communication
Echelon Corp Maxim Integrated Products  

The IEEE P1901.2 standard is designed to benefit global utilities, electric meter manufacturers, medium and low voltage smart grid equipment manufacturers, manufacturers of automotive pluggable electric vehicles (PEV) and pluggable hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) manufacturers, lighting equipment manufacturers, and consumer appliance manufacturers.

Where:
Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society/Standards Committee (COM/SC), information on IEEE P1901.2 can be found on the P1901.2 Working Group page. external link

IEEE P1901.2 is designed to provide the new benchmark of performance and reliability while offering interoperability with the existing "PRIME" and "G3-PLC" OFDM technologies, which have been already chosen by the world's largest energy providers such as IBERDROLA and ERDF. This decision was made by the IEEE P1901.2 Working Group during the April meeting to provide a smooth transition from already established OFDM technologies to the IEEE P1901.2 based products. As such the standard specifies different modes that offer interoperability with PRIME and G3-PLC. When operating in the full 500 KHz band the standard offers only one operating mode that is specified in the main body of the IEEE P1901.2 standard.

During the recent meeting in Las Vegas the IEEE P1901.2 WG made a major step forward by agreeing to adopt synchronous beacon and specific implementations of a coherent modulation. These decisions enable interoperability between Differential and Coherent modes of operation. The group is continuing to develop a single PHY/MAC implementation for the band of up to 500 kHz with the goal to enable wide adoption of interoperable solutions based on IEEE P1901.2 standard. Most of the technical decisions were made with an extremely high degree of consensus among the WG members.

The new version of the draft IEEE 1901.2 standard was approved during the April meeting, which is available to all members of the group. The WG is working on the resolution of comments submitted by members of the group. The next meeting of the working group will take place Sicily, Italy from 6-10 June 2011.

In related news, on 27 April 2011, IEEE-SA and SAE International announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on Smart Grid and Vehicle-Electrification Standards. The full press release is available for reading.

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About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information see the IEEE-SA website.

About IEEE
IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at IEEE website. external link