SGIP agrees on standards and guidelines for wireless communication and meter upgrades


Erich Gunther,
SGIP Administrator
Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 26, 2011 – The governing board of the U.S. Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) has voted in favor of a new standard on meter upgrades and a set of guidelines addressing the need for wireless communications among grid-connected devices.

The SGIP identified “Meter Upgradeability Standard” and “Guidelines for Assessing Wireless Communications for Smart Grid Applications” as critical needs for realizing an energy efficient, modern power grid with seamlessly interoperable parts. These, named PAP 0 and PAP 2 respectively, are among 17 other Priority Action Plans (PAPs) that are under development.

According to SGIP Administrator Erich Gunther, these two new PAPs are important for ensuring real-time communication, which will be a hallmark of the new grid.

“The standards and guidelines resulting from PAP 0 and PAP 2 are crucial to ensuring that metering devices can be upgraded remotely and reliably, and that the sort of fast, efficient wireless communications typical today with cell phones becomes a part of the future electricity grid,” Gunther said.

The PAP 0 standard is designed to ensure that the new generation of smart electricity meters does not quickly become obsolete.

PAP 2 is a guideline that recommends the standards that will be necessary for wireless communications between all devices connected to the smart grid.

The PAPs, originally 15 in number, have expanded to 18, with additional PAPs under development. Of the dozens of groups of standards that will be necessary to ensure the interoperability of Smart Grid devices, the SGIP identified the PAPs to address the most important standards needed for the smart grid to function properly. The vote on PAPs 0 and 2 brings the total number of PAPs that have passed muster with the SGIP governing board to five, along with the previously approved PAPs 1, 11 and 10.

The SGIP was established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2009 to support its coordination of smart grid standards development.