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Maxim G3-PLC Specification Recommended by Japanese Ministry for Smart Meter Projects

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April 26, 2012

Maxim G3-PLC Specification Recommended by Japanese Ministry for Smart Meter Projects

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Maxim Integrated Products (News - Alert), which develops integrated analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, announced its G3-PLC protocol has been recommended as one of the communications platforms for Japanese smart meter projects for home area networks (HAN).

Following the recommendation by the Smart House Standardization Study Group, sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the G3-PLC protocol will be used by the Japanese electrical utilities to establish communication between a smart meter and a home energy management system (HEMS) in HANs.

HEMS gives in-home display (IHD) of energy consumption and cost information.  By offering real-time information on energy usage and electrical rate, IHDs help household cut down energy usage. METI is encouraging the use of IHDs to help Japan deal with the power crisis the country is facing post the 2011 tsunami disaster.

G3-PLC specification was developed in partnership with Electricite Reseau Distribution France (ERDF) and Sagemcom. The specification aims to promote open-endedness and interoperability among smart grid implementations.

 "G3-PLC will enable Japanese utilities to design smart grid networks that they can source from multiple manufacturers,” said Michael Navid, executive business manager for Maxim's Powerline Products. “It will also let Japanese customers set up next-generation, energy-management control systems in their homes. G3-PLC will definitely help Japanese consumers better understand and conserve their energy usage.”  

The recommendation was given following rigorous testing by Japanese utilities, proving that G3-PLC communicates reliably from the meter into the home, even with strong noise on the powerline from home appliances. Another advantage of the standard is that it supports IPv6 Internet protocol.

 The G3-PLC specification also met METI's key requirements, which included a widely accepted standard that supports the IPv6 Internet protocol to allow new Internet-based energy management systems. It also supports two-way communication for demand response and other smart grid applications.

G3-PLC specification is approved for use in neighborhood area network (NAN) and HAN applications in countries like the U.S., France, Spain, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, recent research shows that smart meter product and service demand in the U.S. is projected to increase more than eleven percent annually to $4.4 billion in 2016, mainly driven by the rising penetration of smart meters, particularly advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) products.

Edited by Braden Becker

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