Communication is the unsung hero of grid digitalization. Smart meters, for instance, use protocols, which enable communication with other devices or systems. They can be compared to different spoken languages: adapting to connectivity needs or the data they need to share. International standards and protocols help DSOs by allowing them to manage thousands of grid-connected devices and systems, while giving the headroom to add new devices and applications to their networks to solve whatever new challenges the future brings.
Power Line Communication (PLC) is a cost effective, proven and reliable communication solution for smart metering, and PLC based solutions can provide additional smart metering benefits and advantages that are inherent to using the utility’s existing power lines for communicating. Relying on the fact that the grid is already deployed, PLC based solutions avoid the costs of new infrastructures or the dependency of third parties in the data transmission and management while enabling Low Voltage (LV) and Medium Voltage (MV) grid automation within the smart grid concept.
With strong experience in solutions based on PLC protocol, Gridspertise recently joined the PRIME Alliance, a consolidated and worldwide PLC standard used for advanced meteringrid control and asset monitoring applications.
What is the PRIME Alliance?
Established in 2008, PRIME stands for PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution and focuses on the implementation and use of a new open and public telecommunications solution to support smart metering functionalities and smart grids in general.
Achieving secure, reliable, and real-time communication for a successful massive roll out of smart metering, is a great challenge. PRIME delivers the fundamentals for future proven Advanced Metering Networks, not only capable to report a large amount of meter data, but to allow Energy Management with the aim for a more stable, reliable and balanced network.
The primary aim of PRIME Alliance is to develop and deploy a standard for narrowband power lines for both Smart Grid products and services. Its mission is to accelerate the demand for products and services based on the global benchmark and to promote the broad adoption and use of the specification, while encouraging multi-vendor interoperability and compatibility with the global standard. PRIME Alliance, indeed, provides a forum for the realization of a single open specification, that is a technical standard that is freely available to anyone to use and implement for smart meter communication, and accelerates the demand for products that are delivered worldwide.
PRIME-certified products have achieved interoperability among devices and systems from different manufacturers. There are more than 20 million PRIME smart meters in use in more than 15 countries worldwide.
The Alliance achieves its purpose through a series of activities: creating working groups among its members; participating in events; launching and maintenance of testing programs; establishing working relationships with other organizations from the same sector, and handling marketing activities to increase awareness associated with the Association.
Gridspertise role in the PRIME Alliance
Our company has recently joined the PRIME Alliance as a Principal Member along with utilities, manufacturers, IT, service and consulting companies. This new membership will help Gridspertise to play a more important role in the future of smart grids worldwide.
The collaboration with the PRIME Alliance will help us develop a more flexible and future-proof smart meter that can be used in different areas to meet the needs of diverse regulations, enabling the exchange or adaptation of communication technology directly in field, depending on customer needs and location.
Our Head of Technical Sales, Víctor Domínguez Richards, highlighted the strategic importance of this new membership: “We are delighted to join the PRIME Alliance, this new membership is another important step further in our mission to pave the way for a more sustainable and reliable smart grids in different geographical areas. Joining the Alliance global network and resources will help to further accelerate the adoption of PLC based open standards for utilities and vendors and to boost the development of the smart grid”.
In joining the PRIME Alliance, Gridspertise will play an active role in the association's agenda and will support and promote an open and public specification for the benefit of the end-user and all industry stakeholders.