G3-PLC was initiated about a decade ago as a next generation power line communication standard for smart metering in France.
Since then it has grown to become an open international (ITU) protocol for smart grid and other industrial applications in implementation in over 10m field devices around the world, including 35 pilots and ongoing mass rollouts in 10 countries.
Through the G3-PLC Alliance, the protocol continues to be evolved with backwards compatibility ensured. A certification programme is in place with testing labs in France and Japan to facilitate interoperability.
In the presentation below, Bernard Lassus, a Senior VP at Enedis and Chair of the G3--PLC Alliance, reviews the implementation of the standard in a number of diverse applications. Among these are streetlighting in Belgium, the Linky smart meter rollout in France, meter reading and other applications in Germany, route A and route B communication (i.e. data concentrator to meter and behind the meter in the home) in Japan, data collection in Malaysia, smart prepayment in South Africa and lighting and railways in Italy.
Another current focus – which will be incorporated in version four – is the “noisy grid”, Lassus says. This is being undertaken with input from the Chinese members of the alliance.
“More than 5.3m G3-PLC modules were installed in China at the end of 2016,” he says, pointing to the wider application of the ‘noisy grid’ extension elsewhere, particularly elsewhere in Asia and in Africa.
Looking towards a future convergence of technologies, Lassus asks: Is this a dream?
Commenting that the alliance is working towards improving characteristics of G3-PLC such as robustness and security, he says: “Our vision is a solution with easy gateways to radio technology which allow you to manage any object on any kind of network.
“By combining PLC and radio we can provide more flexibility to meet the needs of future markets and thereby contribute to building an IoT ecosystem.”