UPnP standards can play vital role in smart grid


Dr Alan Messer,
President & Chairman,
UPnP Forum
Lincoln, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 5, 2012 – The UPnP Forum’s IP-based standards can play a vital role in implementing next generation smart grid and smart energy networks, according to a new white paper from the global home networking standards group.

The white paper, UPnP Technologies for the Smart Grid-Enabled Home, is aimed to outline the UPnP device architecture and specifications, and the benefits they bring to vendors whose products embody UPnP specifications.

The UPnP device architecture is an open networking platform that leverages existing and widely deployed internet protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP, and UDP. Additionally, the UPnP architecture supports data transfers among all networked devices by defining a standardized mechanism to discover and control devices using Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Further the architecture supports plug-and-play networking with automatic discovery.

According to the white paper UPnP technologies can play a vital role in energy management by providing a common communications architecture from a utility or energy service provider into the home area network (HAN) and between all of the intelligent devices within the home.

UPnP technologies already provide the foundation in the home to complement a variety of energy management gateways and device control scenarios incorporating well-vetted mechanisms for security, discovery, and service advertisement. UPnP technologies also support modular integration with multiple smart grid and smart energy protocols, including SEP 2.0, NAESB’s ESPI initiative, OpenADR, and OASIS.

For utilities, the current widespread deployment of UPnP-based products means a well established developer and support ecosystem for delivering cost effective energy management solutions. Most consumer electronics vendors have already invested in UPnP technologies as a core component of their products.

“UPnP certified devices on existing home networks provide a perfect platform for communicating energy related messages and performing load shedding actions,” commented Dr Alan Messer, president and chairman of the UPnP Forum. “Connecting smart grid devices in the home is easy, robust and secure using the installed base of UPnP networks already in place.”

To supplement the set of power systems interfaces defined already by the UPnP Forum, additional home energy management system (HEMS) application enhancements are under discussion via liaisons with other industry efforts.