New modular communications interface standard for energy management from CEA


Arlington, VA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 5, 2013 – The new American national standard, ANSI/CEA-2045, Modular Communications Interface for Energy Management, specifying a modular communications interface (MCI) for energy management signals and messages exchanged among devices in a home and the smart grid system, has been published by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

These devices include consumer products such as sensors, thermostats, and appliances, as well as energy-related equipment such as energy management hubs, energy management controllers and residential gateways.

CEA cooperated with the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) on the development of ANSI/CEA-2045.

The MCI specifies a plug-in module that includes a wired connection between a residential device and external communications. Communication links may be provided for powerline carrier (PLC) and radio (RF), depending on the home area network installed or the connection to the access network of an energy management service provider. The MCI plug-in module may be user-installable into a consumer product marketed as smart-grid ready.

“I am very pleased by the cooperation between CEA and the SGIP in developing ANSI/CEA-2045,” said Dr. Kenneth Wacks, chair of the CEA R7.8 MCI subcommittee that developed the standard. “This standard provides consumer electronics companies and appliance manufacturers with flexibility to adapt products for smart grids by reducing the risks and costs of using proprietary communication technologies.”

The standard specifies a base and an intermediate message set for demand response. The MCI is also capable of simply passing application messages from ClimateTalk, generic IP, OpenADR, SEP, and USNAP between the communications module and the end-device. The choice of message set depends on the program offered by the energy and equipment suppliers. Message sets may be added to accommodate future protocols.

This standard affords manufacturers, consumers and service providers the flexibility needed to select the best solution for the local environment.