Electronics associations approve recommended practices for smart grid device installation


Brian Markwalter,
Senior VP, Research
and Standards, CEA
Arlington, VA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 11, 2012 – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association’s (CEDIA) R10 Residential Systems committee has announced approval of recommended practices for the installation of smart grid devices.

The joint CEA/CEDIA-CEB29: Installation of Smart Grid Devices is aimed to provide a basic understanding of many of the issues related to the proper installation, protection and connection of smart grid devices.

The development of the smart grid will entail the interconnection of numerous consumer electronic devices and appliances to each other and to the outside world. As devices become more interconnected the importance of proper installation practices with respect to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) grows. The most destructive phenomena associated with EMI is lightning strikes, which can result in high energy surges and ring wave transients on a building’s power and communications wiring and its grounding system; electrostatic discharge, which is a form of ring wave transient that is exacerbated by low humidity; and conducted and radiated RF energy from equipment power supplies, florescent ballasts, welders, switching, wireless communications devices, dimmers, and other sources.

The traditional first line of defense is to reduce the noise potential at the source. However, not all EMI is controllable or accessible so good installation practices are critical, including proper lightning protection outside the building, an understanding of proper grounding practices, surge protection on all wires entering or leaving the building, local surge and ring wave transient protection for sensitive equipment on both power and communications connections to a device, proper wiring installation practices, and an understanding of electromagnetic interference issues relating to wired, wireless and powerline carrier networks.

“The new smart grid bulletin should be seen as a starting point for consumers, installers and companies involved in the buying, developing or installing of smart grid technologies and devices,” said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president, research and standards at the CEA.