Future direction of Smart Energy HAN standard previewed


Bob Heile,
ZigBee Alliance
San Ramon, CA and Portland, OR, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 26, 2009 – The next generation market requirements for Smart Energy and supporting use cases are now publicly available for review, the ZigBee® Alliance and HomePlug® Powerline Alliance have announced.

Smart Energy enables both wired and wireless communication between utility companies and everyday household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. Next generation functionality use cases envisioned for the smart grid with accompanying consumer control includes plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging, installation, configuration, firmware download for home area network (HAN) devices, prepay services, user information and messaging, load control, demand response, and common information and application profile interfaces for wired and wireless HANs.

The document was jointly developed by ZigBee Alliance members, HomePlug Powerline Alliance members, utilities, regulators, suppliers and technology providers as a foundation for an enhanced ZigBee Smart Energy profile and as the basis for global standards development by other organizations. On May 18, the ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy profile was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices and communications and information model.

The standard is supported by a comprehensive certification process that delivers secure, robust, reliable, plug and play interoperability with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart grid applications.

Two recent studies from ON World found that almost half of the 100 million new smart meters that are planned to be installed worldwide within the next five years will have a Home Area Network (HAN) gateway and that by that time there will be 116 million total potential HAN households.

“We are sharing these new requirements as part of ZigBee’s outreach to assist the many smart grid standardization efforts underway around the world,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance.

“The Smart Energy market requirements document reflects the consensus of many utility companies to maximize both the consumer benefits and ROI of the HAN and smart grid,” said Rob Ranck, HomePlug Alliance president. “This is another benchmark in our key objective to collaborate with other organizations to make the Smart Grid a reality.”