HomePlug® Powerline Alliance published Green PHY specification for smart grid applications


Rob Ranck,
President, HomePlug
Powerline Alliance
Portland, OR, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 15, 2010 – The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance has approved and published its low power, cost optimized powerline networking HomePlug Green PHY (HomePlug GP) specification for smart grid applications.

HomePlug GP, which targets smart grid connectivity for home energy management to devices such as HVAC, smart meters, appliances and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, was developed with input from major utility companies and appliance manufacturers including Consumers Energy, Duke Energy, GE, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.

HomePlug GP is a key component of the portfolio that includes the current HomePlug AV broadband powerline technology, and will include HomePlug AV2, the gigabit-class next generation powerline technology specification due for completion in early 2011. All three specifications are fully interoperable with each other and with the IEEE’s 1901 powerline standard, now completing ratification. HomePlug AV is baseline technology for the IEEE 1901 powerline standard. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance will serve as the compliance and certification body for IEEE 1901.

HomePlug GP is a profile of HomePlug AV, which makes it easier for multiple silicon suppliers to produce GP chips quickly. HomePlug GP delivers scalable data rates with a peak sustained throughput of about 6 Mbps and supports IP networking and IPv6. The specification also includes features to reduce power consumption by about 75 percent compared to HomePlug AV solutions. The ZigBee and HomePlug Smart Energy liaison is creating a common application layer for HomePlug and ZigBee devices enabling interoperability between those wireless and powerline devices.

“Utility companies told us loud and clear their requirements in the areas of performance, reliability, coverage, price and footprint for a successful smart grid solution, and we listened,” said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. “Another key requirement was an interoperable powerline network and our technology roadmap ensures complete interoperability between current and next-generation HomePlug AV and IEEE 1901 technology, which gives customers confidence that devices will communicate now and into the future.”

HomePlug devices currently account for over 80 percent of the world’s broadband powerline communications market, with over 45 million devices sold to date and shipments forecasted to reach 60 million by year’s end. Additionally, more than 50 service providers throughout the world are already utilizing HomePlug technology to deploy broadband, IPTV and triple-play offerings.

The Green PHY specification is currently available only to members but is expected to be made available to non-members shortly.