IBERDROLA has been working extensively in the definition and testing of a new open, public and non-proprietary PLC (Power Line Communications) telecoms architecture to support both Smart Metering functionality and Smart Grids evolution.
First milestone was the definition and testing of the Physical (PHY) Layer, which was made public last February, based on OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) which offers up to 130 Kbps in the CENELEC-A band, and shows further advantages such as increased robustness, longer distance reach and low cost.
Now, IBERDROLA has delivered the MAC (Medium Access Control) and CS (Convergence Sublayer) specifications, after performing several tests with successful results.
This is a definitive step towards an open, public and standard AMI (Automatic Meter Infrastructure) solution, in the framework of what is called PRIME project (Power line Related Intelligent Metering Evolution), leaded by IBERDROLA. PRIME partners are Advanced Digital Design, CURRENT Group, Landis+Gyr, STMicroelectronics, Usyscom and ZIV. A number of European utilities and global semiconductor manufacturers will soon be joining the initiative.
This is a crucial step towards the final objective of establishing a comprehensive set of international standards that will allow for interoperability between different manufacturers, thus boosting competition in the Metering market for the benefit of all stakeholders, particularly the end-user. Contrary to other commercially available alternatives, no Intellectual Property Rights will be held on this solution.
Besides the full specifications that are already available, in the next few weeks IBERDROLA will publish the reference code, written in fully compatible ANSI standard C programming language, for the functionality of the MAC and CS layers. This common reference code will help achieving interoperability between products from different vendors, while at the same time improving time to market.
IBERDROLA is planning a pilot project encompassing 100,000 PLC meters and 635 concentrators to be deployed in 2.009, as a previous step to fully cover more than 10 million residential customers in Spain. IBERDROLA will also develop its Smart Grid initiative over the pilot project.
The full specification, PHY + MAC + CS, is publicly available at AMI.email@example.com A White Paper on PRIME is also publicly available and can be downloaded from http://www.iberdrola.es/wcorp/corporativa/iberdrola?IDPAG=ENSMART_METERING