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ZigBee-certified software supports Smart Grid devices

May 8, 2013  |  Rick Lehrbaum
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Grid2Home has announced immediate availability of ZigBee-certified software for integrating mesh-based wireless networking into Smart Grid-aware devices. G2H-ZIP now supports all major CPU architectures and physical layers, including ZigBee, WiFi, and Power Line Communications, and is usable in devices running Linux and various real-time operating systems, says the company.

Grid2Home is a VC-funded developer of embedded communications software for devices associated with the Smart Grid ecosystem. Applications include smart power meters, thermostats, in-home energy monitors, and electric vehicles (EVs) and EV-charging stations.


Smart Grid-aware Home Area Network
(click image to enlarge)

 

G2H-ZIP is used in conjunction with Grid2Home’s G2H-SE2 software, which enables wired and wireless mesh networks to be managed as a single integrated network. G2H-SE2 is said to comply with the recently-released SEP 2.0 specification for Smart Grid communications.


Grid2Home’s G2H-SE2 software stack
(click image to enlarge)

 

Why we all need the Smart Grid

As Grid2Home explains, “Nationwide electricity demand is forecasted to grow by 30 percent by 2030. However even now, the electrical power grids that deliver the electricity by which we work, play, communicate and live are rapidly running up against their limitations, in the United States and around the globe. As digital-age economies grow, risks associated with relying on an overtaxed grid also grow in size, scale and complexity.”


Potential for rolling blackouts

In the near term, the market for Smart Grid-enabled devices is primarily driven by the needs of utility companies, says Grid2Home. Due to increased energy demand coupled with aging power generation and delivery infrastructure, utility companies are facing a future in which they won’t have the ability to meet peak demands. Consequently, Smart Grid technologies are needed in order for the utilities to continue to operate reliably.

Longer term, utilities and consumers will both contribute to growing the market for Smart Grid-enabled devices, as “Smart Grid technologies, driven by two-way communications, [begin to] enable a new class of consumer devices and markets in much the same way as the Internet has enabled everything from online shopping to smartphones,” adds the company.

Further information regarding G2H-ZIP and G2H-SE2 are available at Grid2Home’s website. Other references of interest include the Smart Energy Profile 2, NIST’s Wiki for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, and ZigBee’s Smart Energy page.
 

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