SGIP approves IP and electric vehicle standards for smart grid


George Arnold,
National Coordinator
for Smart Grid
Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 3, 2011 – The United States Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board has approved three key sets of standards on Internet Protocols and electric vehicles for an interoperable smart grid.

These are the first standards to emerge from the Priority Action Plan (PAP) teams, which are working on priority smart grid standards issues. The standards are now ready for inclusion on the SGIP Catalog of Standards.

The three standards that have been approved are:

  • “Internet Protocols for the Smart Grid,” which describes a set of key protocols needed to set up an internet network for smart grid applications. The core set specifies the use of IPv4, IPv6, TCP, and UDP in networks composed of common WAN technologies and IEEE LANs including Ethernet (IEEE 802.3), Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), and Wireless PAN (802.15.4), plus the service protocols used in operating those networks.
  • “SAE J1772TM Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler,” which concerns the physical connector used to plug an electric vehicle into an AC charging station. This standard specifies such details as the dimensions, functions, and configurations of the vehicle inlet and mating conductor.
  • “SAE J2836/1 Use Cases for Communication Between Plug-in Vehicles and the Utility Grid,” which establishes use cases specifying the electronic information the vehicle will exchange with the grid. This information could include, for example, the identity of the specific vehicle and owner, the location of the charging station, the amount of electricity used, and the price of the electricity at different times of day.

“The SGIP Governing Board’s approval of these standards marks a significant step forward for the smart grid,” commented George Arnold, national coordinator for smart grid interoperability. “PAP 1 defines the suite of Internet Protocols that will be used in the smart grid, providing a key foundation for communications network interoperability. The electric vehicle charging standards recommended by PAP 11 will facilitate growing use of electric vehicles without overloading the grid.”

PAP 1 (“Role of IP in the Smart Grid”) and PAP 11 (“Common Object Models for Electric Transportation”) met for the first time in August 2009. Over the past 17 months, the groups have met regularly in face-to-face meetings, on conference calls, and through extensive e-mail and wiki collaborations. On each team, technical experts from relevant stakeholder groups reviewed requirements, explored gaps, issues, and overlaps affecting interoperability and worked closely with the appropriate standards organization – IETF for PAP 1 and SAE International for PAP 11. 

Besides PAP 1 and PAP 11, there are 16 other PAP teams working on and reviewing standards affecting various elements of the smart grid. Several of these other PAP teams are nearing completion of their work, and the Governing Board expects to consider their recommendations in the coming weeks.  It is anticipated that the final step of this SGIP process, following the votes by the Governing Board, will be the presentation of standards to the full SGIP membership for approval to place the standards on the SGIP Catalog of Standards. 

The SGIP does not, itself, set the standards. The role of the SGIP is to coordinate these various outputs to ensure the interoperability of the smart grid.