Sunday, April 26, 2009

ZigBee Alliance Sees SmartGrid Integration with IP Networks

The ZigBee Alliance plans to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards into its specification portfolio of low-power wireless networking in order to accelerate the growth of Smart Grid applications. ZigBee Smart Energy products will enhance their application capabilities with native IP support, allowing seamless integration of Internet connectivity into each product.

The ZigBee Alliance said that through cooperative efforts with the IETF, its members will create additional innovative solutions for wireless sensor and control networks as part of the new specification.

Internet connectivity is currently provided by existing ZigBee specifications; however, the addition of native IP support will offer tighter integration from wireless devices all the way to large scale utility IT networks.

The resulting specification will further broaden ZigBee's suite of low-power wireless network solutions to meet the diversified needs of companies in the home, automation, healthcare, commercial building automation, telecommunications and consumer markets.

ZigBee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utilities, energy service providers 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.

The ZigBee Alliance estimates that there are 30 million ZigBee equipped smart meters currently in various stages of deployment in North America.


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