During my travels in Europe, I have seen many companies have resisted the use of high performance proprietary  narrowband powerline solutions  for their industrial applications. They believed that they should use a standard

Many have heard of the various standards such as Prime, G3-PLC , and IEEE1901.2 and believed that best practice would be to use a “standard”

By the way, my definition of a standard is that this means their is one standard, only one.  However, when there is Prime, G3-PLC, HD-PLC, IEEE1901.2 then this means actually there is no standard, using my definition. It is the “Wild West”

These standards were all driven by the needs of the smart metering world. In Europe, this means they are defined for use in the Cenelec A band. The issue is that this band is exclusively allocated to the utilities. Industrial users are denied use of this band.

This leaves the  Cenelec B and C bands for industrial use. D band additionally can be used for fire and security systems. One other limitation on the use of C band is that CSMA must be implemented , i.e. listen before talk.

So, the industrial manufacturer does not have as many options in using “standards” than  you would believe to be the case.

There is a soewhat  incomplete specification for G3-PLC for the Cenelec B and C bands and this is one possible  solution.

.Semitech Semiconductor has implemented a G3-PLC  firmware bundle for their SM2400 multi-standard narrowband powerline device and it also includes CSMA.  This gives users a neat low power platform to run something that ticks the boxes on using a standard in industrial powerline communication systems

However, this is still “twisting ” a standard that was designed for metering into use for industrial powerline communications applications.

Better performance will probably be achieved if you use one of Semitech’s proprietary schemes so that you can achieve the best compromise of bandwidth, latency and reach distance for your industrial powerline communications system.

You can test them all easily using Semitech’s Koala GUI and their out of the box ready to use  evaluation boxes, the SM9400. You simply select the powerline communications scheme/ standard , click a button to flash the boxes with the configuration , and then start testing.

Gridcomm Communications has a family of industrial modules which are based on Semitech’s SM2200 chip.  Totally unshackled from the metering standards, customers have achieved 1.5Km range and more in real applications on 230 volts AC lines.

Contact us if you need more information on wither Semitech or gridComm.

Semitech Semiconductor now has customers working with the SM2400. This multi-standard narrowband powerline communications chip, is seen to be really easy to use. This is helped by the excellent development tools and evaluation boxes. Feedback so far is that the evaluation tools are the best that customers have seen especially because of a ll the diagnostics which enable the user […]

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