Universal Powerline Association Readies Powerline Communication Smart Grid and Command and Control Specifications

  • Market Requirements Documents Focus on Interoperability and Coexistence across all Powerline Communications environments.
September 25, 2008 London - The Universal Powerline Association (UPA), a leading international industry consortium providing a forum for the design and development of interoperable and open specifications for Powerline communications, today announces that it is issuing two advanced market requirement documents (MRDs) for Powerline communication based Smart Grid and Command and Control applications.

The MRDs for Smart Grid and Command and Control applications share three fundamental principles:
  • Delivering Interoperability across all C&C and Smart Grid applications;
  • Maintaining an open, non-proprietary protocol meeting & exceeding industry requirements; and
  • Facilitating International Regulatory approvals.
The UPA Command and Control MRD focuses exclusively on in-home applications and those that tie into the Smart Grid such as HVAC, Appliance, Security, Lighting and Energy Management applications among others. The UPA's Command and Control (C&C) working group collaborates with UPA´s Smart Grid working group for the definition of the residential gateway interface.

Paul Bertrand, Chairman of UPA's C&C Working Group stated that, "UPA shall develop a single technical specification and certification process based on the UPA MRD. We are paying special attention to energy consumption requirements. New regulations in Europe and the US require low power devices and place restrictions on standby power and the MRD has arrived on time to take full account of these requirements in the development of a specification for environmentally friendly command and control devices."

The UPA Smart Grid MRD provides a baseline to clarify the multiple economic, commercial, legislative and environmental requirements against which UPA members develop products and services. Smart Grids must   help utilities to intelligently integrate the actions of all components and users connected to the grid. This holistic infrastructure defines the UPA Smart Grid from generation, transmission & distribution to advanced metering. The considerations include reliability requirements in a range of operating environments.

The UPA Smart Grid MRD tackles a range of grid issues such as necessary data speeds that allow the infrastructure and product or solutions on the grid to be instantaneously responsive in a wide range of applications. It also tackles robust levels of security to defend against cyber intrusion, which could have significant economic implications. The UPA MRD defines how the entire value-chain of the Smart Grid network needs to operate and interoperate - taking into account existing infrastructure, processes and approvals, as well as, future proofing with new and proven techniques and technologies.

Chris Graham-Fielding, Chairman of the UPA Smart Grid Working Group stated, "To a utility, a Smart Grid is a commercial imperative as well as a technological implementation. Utilities are faced with complying with a range of environmental targets. These include for example; an 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2008-2012 (Kyoto) or increasing the share of electricity from renewable energy systems to 21% of gross electricity consumption by 2010, and reducing energy intensity by a further 1% per year until 2010. For this reason one cannot speak of a "single" element in a Smart Grid - it is an "end to end" cohesive solution. It must provide reliable and cost effective two-way communication across and between vast internal and edge assets. From Automated Metering Intelligence/Infrastructure (AMI) and Transmission & Distribution intelligence through to the inclusion of Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) or Distributed Power Control to Demand Side Management; the UPA PLC enabled Smart Grid is key to delivering that."

Whether FCC, Cenelec, ARIB, or other regulations, the UPA is currently in discussions and requesting participation from key stakeholders in the Energy Markets including Utilities, Regulators, OEMs and suppliers to join its efforts to ensure a successful and effective Powerline Command & Control and Smart Grid technology solution.

Daniel Drolet, Chairman of the UPA Marketing Working Group, commented, "The UPA is committed to ensuring that it’s Command and Control and Smart Grid Market Requirements Documents and resulting Specifications are independently successful. Additionally, these specifications will also directly support each other allowing Energy companies and Consumers to each access and achieve their overall Powerline communication, networking and overall data management goals."

Additional details on all UPA activities are available from Don Pollock, UPA Secretariat, donald.pollock@upaplc.org +44 1780 470003

About the Universal Powerline Association
The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) is an International not-for-profit trade association working to promote global standards and regulations in the fast developing Powerline communications market. The UPA aims to catalyze the growth of Powerline technology by delivering UPA plug tested and certified products that comply with these specified standards and regulations. All products and applications designed around UPA guidelines will communicate, from simple coexistence to full interoperability. The UPA provides all Powerline players the opportunity to respond to key customer expectations with open standards, based on interoperability, security and coexistence and supported by exclusive and independent certifications, the only global guarantee of quality and confidence for high-speed power line technology available today.

Members of the UPA include: AcBel Polytech Inc., Ambient Corporation, Analog Devices, Arteche, Belfuse Inc., Buffalo Inc., Comtrend, Corinex Communications Corp., Current Technologies International, D-Link, DS2, Freedom Digital Networks, China Gridcom Company Ltd, Ilevo (Schneider Electric Powerline Communications), Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, Logitec Corporation, LS Cables, Netgear, PCN Technology, Pirelli Broadband, Power Monitors Inc., Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH, Towada Well Design,  Toyo Networks & System Integration Co.,Ltd and Watteco.

Additional information about the UPA is available at www.upaplc.org.

UPA Media Contact:
Donald Pollock
UPA Permanent Secretary
Phone: + 44 178 047 0003

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