USNAP Alliance releases 2.0 Specification for HANs


Morgan Hill, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — December 21, 2010 – The USNAP Alliance has announced the final release of its 2.0 Specification for enabling interoperable home area network (HAN) deployments.

Manufacturers of devices such as consumer appliances, thermostats, in-home displays, energy management systems and gateways can use USNAP communication modules (UCMs) to connect to a HAN using a variety of connectivity options such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and FM radio, creating a universal HAN device ecosystem.
The USNAP 2.0 specification represents a collaborative industry effort, building upon the earlier 1.0 specification that serves as the basis for consumer and utility grade HAN solutions for managing energy conservation and demand via home, carrier and utility networks. Authors of the new specification modeled it after two well known computer industry standards, namely PCI and USB, ensuring the reliability and flexibility necessary to support the natural progression of communication technology. The new programmatic model provides developers with a flexible standard for developing compelling new applications serving a wider range of consumer products. The USNAP protocol uses the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) commonly found in most integrated circuits, making it compatible with the most popular communication chips and processors available in the market.
Recognizing the importance of industry standardization, the revised USNAP specification supports the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile (SEP) 1.0 Specification. The new command structure uses a “Get, Set and Send” concept providing a solid foundation for protocol agnostic, multi-vendor compatibility. The revised USNAP specification also includes serial protocol enhancements for more efficient communication between the UCM and smart grid devices, as well as support for extended size USNAP communication modules.

“Release of the USNAP 2.0 specification will enable manufacturers and utilities to support HAN connectivity to the more than 50 million smart meters that are scheduled for deployment over the next five years,” said Jon Rappaport, chairman of the USNAP Alliance. “Uncertainty about communication standards has created a moving target for industry. The USNAP Alliance addresses this concern by providing a method for future proofing consumer products against technological change.”

The USNAP Alliance is an open industry association developing an industry standard for connecting energy aware consumer products with smart meters.