G3-PLC Hybrid PLC&RF
Extended capabilities for the smart grid and IoT!
The G3-PLC Hybrid is the first industry hybrid standard offering extended capabilities for smart grid and IoT applications in one seamlessly managed network over both wired and wireless media.
Customers want the best of both worlds– so creating a single industry standard for hybrid networking is a significant step forward. This will provide the capability for DSOs, product manufacturers and industry partners to apply/offer interoperable solutions, reducing the complexity and cost of network installations.
The hybrid protocol stack is built using open standards IEEE 802.15.4-2015 in addition to the existing G3-PLC protocol. Each device in the mesh network can use PLC as well as RF for the communication. Depending on the actual conditions in the field, messages between two devices are sent over the ‘best’ available channel. The channel selection for each link in the network is done automatically and adjusted dynamically. In many grids, none of the communication technologies can consistently realise connectivity >99% on their own. The hybrid solution maximises coverage & connectivity and avoids the very high cost of realizing the remaining 1% connectivity. This way, the hybrid profile can provide a more efficient and cost-effective solution for smart grids, smart cities and industrial applications.
The hybrid also opens up new use cases as it extends the connectivity of G3-PLC to RF-only devices. For example communication with In-Home Displays, keypads for prepaid solutions, environmental monitors, lighting controllers, industrial sensors and communication with water & gas meters.
The G3-PLC Hybrid profile is fully compatible and interoperable with existing G3-PLC implementations, so it is possible to mix hybrid and non-hybrid nodes.
The G3-PLC Hybrid is available for all PLC bandplans (CENELEC A/B, FCC and ARIB) and supports a wide range of ISM bands worldwide and we will expand to more frequencies in future.
Interoperability has been demonstrated in a plugfest among the chipsets from 5 leading international manufacturers. The specification for the hybrid profile has been finalised and will be available for members by the end of July 2020 on the G3-PLC Alliance website. The G3-PLC Alliance is now working together with its members to extend the G3-PLC certification program to include the hybrid PLC&RF profile. We expect the certification for the hybrid profile will open in the fourth quarter of this year and the first certified hybrid devices will be available soon after.
An introductory presentation about the G3-PLC Hybrid is available for download here for members with access rights.