IEEE standards simplify, accelerate smart grid


IEEE's series of smart grid and wireless standards is streamlining the way home networks and smart grid components share and transport data, and laying the groundwork for future infrastructure development.

When IEEE began drafting smart grid standards in the mid-2000s, they focused on three main domains: implementation, applications and integration.

"The smart grid is an incredibly complex and multi-faceted subject," said Oleg Logvinov, a member of the IEEE standards board. He said the standards will help usher in new technology that can bridge the gap with existing smart grid framework.

"[Standards] will help to convert an enormously complex task into something that is much more manageable," he said.

The suite of standards includes IEEE 2030, which governs smart grid interoperability; IEEE 1901, which aims to simplify broadband over powerline infrastructure; IEEE P1901.2, which addresses low frequency and narrow band communications; and IEEE P1905.1, which regulates digital home networks.

"It is a starting point upon which the new standards, which will describe other elements in greater detail, can be developed," Logvinov said.

In December 2011, IEEE formed a committee to uphold existing standards and focused on drafting the next batch of powerline communication (PLC) standards.

The entire process has brought together analysts and engineers from across the globe. More than 94 countries contributed to the development of the IEEE 1901 standard alone.

"It was really a worldwide membership," said Jean-Philippe Faure, founding chair of the IEEE 1901 working group.

IEEE developers hope that implementing these standards will benefit end customers by simplifying and accelerating smart grid buildout. This includes improving the speed and quality of information customers receive about their energy use.

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