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Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID)

Certain smart grid system applications can be supported by radio frequency identification devices (RFID) tags. RFID tags are already in use in most retail purchases to track the identification, location, and product specifics, such as price, date of purchase, etc. In an RFID system, an object is equipped with a tag which contains a digital memory chip that is given a unique electronic code. The RFID reader can read and write data to the RFID tag by emitting a signal to activate the RFID tag. There is no global body governing the use of frequencies for RFID. Low frequency systems (30 kHz – 500 kHz) have short transmission ranges, less than 6 feet. High frequency systems (850 MHz-950 MHz and 2.4 GHz-2.5 GHz) have longer transmission ranges, more than 90 feet.


In the smart grid environment, RFID can be used to track smart meters for asset management, as well as track distributed energy resources' or appliances' identifiable information. For example:
- Track battery charging information, i.e. amount of life remaining, date, time, location of last recharge, etc;
- Track PHEV charging information, i.e. location the PHEV was recharged as well as how long it was connected to the power source.


[1] Electronic Privacy Information Center: http://epic.org/privacy/smartgrid/smartgrid.html

Key Technology Area: 
Integrated Communications

Sample Vendors:

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