IEEE 1901.2 standard to support low frequency narrowband PLC for smart grid approved

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The IEEE 1901.2 “Standard for Low-Frequency (less than 500 kHz) Narrowband Power-Line Communications for Smart Grid Applications” has been approved

Comprised of three foundational components – physical/medium access (PHY/MAC) layer, coexistence and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirement – IEEE 1901.2 supports the balanced and efficient use of the PLC channel by all classes of low frequency and narrowband devices. The standard defines detailed mechanisms for coexistence among standard technologies operating in the same frequency band.

“The IEEE 1901.2 standard raises the bar of performance with mandatory differential and robust coherent modulation, with added enhancements for increased data rates greater than 300 kbps,” said Jim LeClare, chair of the IEEE 1901.2 working group. “The design potential for low frequency, narrowband OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) PLC has expanded past the energy industry, with designs spanning the globe in industrial automation, transportation, street lighting, mining, medical applications and more.”

Designed to specify secure PLC at data rates up to 500 kbps and at transmission frequencies of less than 500 kHz for applications, IEEE 1901.2 addresses low frequency, narrowband PLC over low voltage lines of less than 1 kV between transformer and meter, through transformer low voltage to medium voltage (1 kV 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.

IEEE 1901.2 is scheduled to be published on December 6, 2013.

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