A standard for broadband transmission on power networks has been approved, promising to accelerate progress on Smart Grid applications.

The IEEE has approved its 1901.2 Standard for Low-Frequency Narrow-Band Powerline Communications. The standard covers transmission through transformers in the electricity distribution network using frequencies below 500 kHz, while supporting data rates of up to 500 kbps.

The technology also addresses requirements that facilitate communication privacy and secure networks, and enables IPv6 Smart Grid solutions with a new benchmark of performance and reliability

Netricity will certify products for conformance to the new standard. Netricity is operated by the HomePlug Alliance, which will rely on long-established programs and members' expertise in testing and certifying powerline networking products, the Alliance said.

The HomePlug Alliance also said it will promote the adoption of Netricity products to foster an ecosystem served by multiple technology vendors. Customers such as utilities and energy companies will benefit from having a broad interoperable product portfolio to choose from.

Netricity product applications include:

  • Utility grid modernization
  • Distribution automation
  • Meter-to-Grid connectivity
  • Micro-grids
  • Grid sensor communications
  • Load control
  • Demand response
  • Net metering
  • Street Lighting control
  • Photovoltaic panel monitoring

The HomePlug Alliance is a group of about 60 companies working together to develop technology specifications and certification & logo programs for powerline networking. With over 100 million devices in the market, HomePlug products are used worldwide by consumers and service providers to improve home networking performance while expanding coverage and Wi-Fi mobility.