AHAM completes assessment of communications protocols for smart grid enabled appliances


Joseph M. McGuire,
President, AHAM
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 3, 2010 – The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has recently completed a technical evaluation and assessment of communications standards for smart appliances.

The results, which are presented in the report, “Assessment of Communication Standards for Smart Appliances,” are based on assessment with respect to the Application (APP), Network (NET), and Media (MAC, PHY) communications layers.

For the APP layer, the highest scoring protocols were Smart Energy Profile 2.0 and OpenADR. For the NET/MAC/PHY layers, the highest scoring protocols were Wi-Fi, ZigBee and HomePlug Green PHY.

Each communications technology was evaluated against a set of clear, consumer driven requirements, as identified by participating AHAM members based on their expertise and knowledge of the industry, with a requirements driven scoring system used to rank their ability to meet the unique needs of appliance consumers.

According to the assessment’s results, the most relevant communications technologies were clearly separated from their peers for use in smart grid appliance applications.

Further, the assessment reflects a clear preference by the home appliance industry that the best communications architecture at this time features a hub or gateway that can communicate using common protocols and serve as the adapter or bridge to other devices on the home area network (HAN). This type of architecture is consistent with the OpenHAN architectures and provides simplicity for the consumer, and the flexibility needed for future development needs.

 “The release of this assessment marks a major milestone for the appliance industry and another step toward successful deployment of smart grid enabled appliances,” commented Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president . “This study will assist appliance manufacturers in helping consumers to take advantage of new grid enabled appliances.”

The assessment was developed to address the four communication parameters, namely an open, flexible, secure, and limited in number set of communication standards, as established by the AHAM in setting out the industry’s principles and requirements for achieving a widely accepted smart grid.