Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Panel sees smart grid engineering challenges - EETimes

HM> Zigbee over IP will not be complete until October!

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Engineers face plenty of challenges enabling smart grids in the home and in utility distribution networks, according to a panel at the Grid ComForum event here.
In the home, a key standard for connecting devices to a smart meter will not be complete until October. Thus, even though Pacific Gas & Electric claims it will have installed five million smart meters by March, PG&E has not enabled for two-way links into the home the Zigbee radios in those smart meters.

That's in part because a Smart Energy standard for Zigbee does not use Internet Protocol or address security requirements. A 2.0 version of that spec covering Zigbee over IP and Homeplug powerline standards will address security but will not be complete until October.

That's when PG&E expects to start trials of the Zigbee capability in its installed smart meters from Silver Spring Networks (Redwood City, Calif.). Systems to help consumers manage home power use are expected to become available in early 2011.

U. S. utilities are said to have signed contracts to install as many as 45 million smart meters. Most of them are using Zigbee, some already in use with applications level security built in for the Smart Energy 1.0 spec.

Read More: Panel sees smart grid engineering challenges - EETimes

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