PRIME Alliance, the group that promotes open standards for PLC-based smart metering and smart grid deployments, has released its updated version on the eve of European Utility Week, which opens tomorrow in Amsterdam.
PRIME version 1.4 includes changes at the PHY and MAC level bringing improvements such as increased robustness and throughput, band expansion, band-plan flexibility and IP version 6 support while ensuring backwards compatibility.
Open to new markets
PRIME specifications now support frequency ranges going from the CENELEC A-band (<95kHz) up to 500 kHz.
This expansion to FCC and ARIB band and the associated data-rate upscale opens up new geographic markets, meeting needs specifically for America, Asia Pacific and European electrical grids, the alliance confirms.
Additional transmission modes have been introduced, designed to improve system performance against both high power impulsive noises and interfering noises.
PRIME can be fitted for multiple applications – IEC 61334-4-32, IPv4, IPv6 – which enables a variety of services beyond smart metering.
Legacy smart meters
The inclusion of these new elements implies that PRIME v1.4-compliant devices will be able to support scenarios where they co-exist with legacy PRIME v1.3 meters not implementing these new features.
This attention to establishing backwards capability is focused on understanding utilities needs to protect investments in existing deployments.
PLC network security
Security functionality in PRIME has been engineered to the needs of the technology adopters and PRIME v1.4 specifications include cryptographic protection mechanisms at MAC Layer, enabling deployment of a PLC network that is secure even at lowest levels.
Two distinct security profiles allow users to optimise security and performance in their networks. Both profiles utilise 128-bit AES-CCM authenticated encryption; and recognised standards for key management, distribution and generation.
PRIME at European Utility Week
PRIME Alliance will be at stand 1.A14 at European Utility Week, running from Tuesday to Thursday this week.