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ST, Enel team up to cut home energy use

Posted: 17 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid? smart meter? appliance?

STMicroelectronics N.V. (ST) has revealed that it will be working with Enel S.p.A. to push efficient electricity use among private homeowners and customers. ST will serve as a semiconductor partner in the Energy@Home consortium launched by Electrolux, Enel, Indesit and Telecom Italia.

The Energy@Home initiative will develop a system in which 'smart appliances' will be able to independently manage themselves, adjust power being used, and avoid consumption peaks and overloads. The project is a step toward the development of the so-called 'smart grid' which allows information from appliances to 'self-program' depending on power supply and price. As a result, appliances will start functioning at non-peak (and at less expensive) times of day, avoiding meter shutdowns due to overloads and automatically balance consumption without jeopardizing equipment performance.

ZigBee USB key

ST's ZigBee USB key is based on STM32W 32bit ARM Cortex-M3.

An essential part of the collaboration is the combination of ST's ZigBee USB key, based on STM32W 32bit ARM Cortex-M3 core with up to 256KB Flash, with Enel's 'Smart Info.' This will enable customers to access meter information more easily via a number of simple visual supports (PCs, entertainment equipment, electrical appliances, mobile devices and dedicated displays). This integration gives consumer's detailed knowledge of their consumption and the ability to optimize it by organizing the use of appliances and lighting more efficiently. The integration of the two devices will transmit the information on consumption collected from the meter inside the residential network through a standard and open communication protocol.

The system will also include a Coordinated Management Mode, in which the 'Home Gateway' plans operations. This takes into account price information, selected household-appliance programs and the customer's needs and constraints via a dialogue with smart dishwashers, washing machine, refrigerators and other household appliances.

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