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EPRI joins group developing language for home nets

Posted: 05 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:language home network area? EPRI Zigbee Alliance? HomePlug Alliance?

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is now collaborating with the Zigbee Alliance and the HomePlug Powerline Alliance to develop a common language for home area network (HAN) devices to use advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The groups will work in cooperation with the many utilities already supporting Zigbee Smart Energy, and will look for ways to further expand the Smart Grid by creating a standard communication approach between AMI systems and HANs, as well as a common set of certification procedures.

EPRI joins the Zigbee and HomePlug initiative led by several leading utilities with the goal to create a unified AMI and HAN solution. Development efforts of the initiative will center on expanding the Zigbee Smart Energy public application profile. The initiative will enhance the capabilities of Smart Energy to incorporate new features, support Zigbee wireless and HomePlug wired devices, and accelerate the development and certification of HAN devices capable of plugging into the Smart Grid such as thermostats, pool pumps, water heaters, appliances and plug-in vehicles.

"There are a number of ways that EPRI can contribute to this effort," said Arshad Mansoor, VP of power delivery and utilization for EPRI. "Using our collaborative model, we have the ability to bring multiple perspectives outside the alliance to create a broader consensus for establishing standards."

"EPRI's involvement in this effort will focus resources and bring together a strong coalition whose work to establish the standard for Smart Energy HAN devices will accelerate the deployment of the Smart Grid," said Bob Heile, Zigbee Alliance chairman. "EPRI is highly regarded, and working with its staff will make the Smart Energy information model more robust."

"We're delighted to have EPRI involved in this smart energy initiative," said Rob Ranck, HomePlug Alliance president. "EPRI brings both U.S. and global insight to our focus on delivering the best technology to meet the needs of consumers and power utilities."

Zigbee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utility companies and common household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. It improves energy efficiency by allowing consumers to choose interoperable products from different manufacturers, giving them the means to manage their energy consumption more precisely using automation and near real-time information. It also helps utility companies implement new advanced metering and demand response programs to drive greater energy management and efficiency, while responding to changing government requirements.





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