LonWorks is a worldwide automation and control standard for distributed systems developed by an American company Echelon. For communication it utilizes the standard LonTalk protocol which allows LonWorks devices from various manufacturers to communicate smoothly. Such a solution is convenient for potential users for several reasons. They are not tied to one manufacturer but can choose from wide range of products from various manufacturers.
Lonworks network communication can use multiple media – one of them being PowerLine Communication (PLC) that enables data and control signals transfer over 230V electricity lines. There is no need to install additional communication channels – management and control infrasctructure can be easily created using exisitng power grid. In such case data transfer rate is sufficient to create a network consisting of several hundreds devices.
Using additional servers, routers and other network devices enables virtually unlimited network expansion. The largest LonWork network consists of 27 million devices – remote electricity meters reading system operated by the Italian company ENEL.