SAN RAMON & SCOTTS VALLEY, USA: The ZigBee Alliance and the SunSpec Alliance have announced an agreement to collaborate on defining standards for renewable energy and microgrid management using the ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0 standard.
The ZigBee Alliance is a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, and the SunSpec Alliance was formed to accelerate the growth of the renewable energy industry through standardization of monitoring and management interfaces for energy system components.
As use of distributed generation increases with more residences and businesses installing solar power generating systems, those microgrid systems need to integrate with the Smart Grid. The collaboration between the two Alliances will address the existing gap between the growing use of distributed generation via renewable energy resources and the Smart Grid, in order to take advantage of the energy management efficiencies of the Smart Grid.
"Working with the SunSpec Alliance further broadens the reach and strength of ZigBee Smart Energy by giving renewable energy industries and the utilities a standardized approach to Smart Grid integration," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "As more consumers and businesses install renewable energy systems, they need a way to control not only their energy use, but also how it ties in to their local utility. They will be able to do all of this using ZigBee Smart Energy."
ZigBee Smart Energy is the market leading wireless HAN standard with more than 40 million smart meters being installed around the world. Common HAN devices include utility meters, thermostats, pool pumps, water heaters, appliances and plug-in electric vehicles. The standard was developed by industry leading utilities, suppliers and technology companies to connect those everyday household devices to the Smart Grid.
Last year, ZigBee Smart Energy was listed by the US Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as one of the initial consensus standards for HAN devices for inclusion in the Smart Grid Roadmap.
"ZigBee Smart Energy is a key standard to removing barriers and firmly establishing product interoperability that expedites Smart Grid integration of renewable power generating sources," said Tom Tansy, chairman of the SunSpec Alliance. "The SunSpec Alliance shares the ZigBee Alliance's vision of helping consumers and businesses realize a new era of energy management and efficiency, and this collaboration adds a focus on the control of renewable energy production."
ZigBee Smart Energy for home area networks
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 utilities and energy providers implement new advanced metering and demand response programs to drive greater energy management and efficiency, while responding to changing government requirements.