[#SmartGrid #スマートグリッド] Z-Wave陣営の状況:けっこうベンダーサポートが多いのに驚き。さすがIntel、Ciscoの力か

Z-Wave gains new support in bid for smart grid standards


Published: 25 November, 2009

The rising interest in smart grid is giving a major opportunity to technologies originally developed for home or industrial automation, serving up an application that is attracting major funding and even government mandates. This trend is also highlighting the potential stand-off between two standards efforts for low power, short wave automation networks – ZigBee and Z-Wave.

The Z-Wave Alliance gained major support in 2006 when Intel backed its technology, developed by start-up Zensys, which in turn had attracted investment from Cisco. The latest to join the group is Nokia spin-off There Corporation, which has taken over the former Nokia Home Control Center (HCC) product for smart home and smart metering, now called ThereGate.

ThereGate gathers and processes information about home energy consumption, monitoring domestic appliances via an intuitive user interface and allowing users or utilities to manage energy usage. It will now integrate the Z-Wave standard into its products to enable them to communicate with other Zensys enabled platforms, extending applications to other control applications such as temperature control or security sensors.

ThereGate users will be able to control all their Z-Wave compatible devices via a central interface or remotely via a browser, control unit or cellphone.

About 350 devices from 170 manufacturers now support Z-Wave, a wireless mesh technology that allows home devices such as lighting, appliances, entertainment centers and security systems to interoperate. The Z-Wave Alliance was founded in 2005 by Zensys, Leviton, Intermatic, Wayne Dalton, Danfoss and UEI. Cisco joined the following year, agreeing to rebadged Zensys products under its Linksys brand, and Intel was hard on its heels, saying: “Z-Wave enabled products are easy to use and interoperable right off the shelf, which are key attributes to Intel’s overall vision of the digital home.”

This was taken to imply a contrast with products based on the IEEE originated ZigBee standard. Zensys argues that ZigBee was designed for industrial automation and is not suited to the home or smart metering. The core of the argument is cost. Like most standards, ZigBee has to encompass various markets and profiles, and Zensys argues that this will make its radios relatively complex and expensive in a sector where extremely low cost will be as important as low power.

Sorting out in-home standards will be essential to make the broader smart grid initiatives workable. George Arnold, national coordinator for smart grid interoperability at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), said this week that the grid will eventually encompass hundreds of standards in areas from cybersecurity to in-car connections. “We’ve never tried to anything of this magnitude before. It’s more complicated than the internet and internet standards have been evolving for over 20 years,” he said – but smart grid standards need to be agreed next year. There are three main wireless standards – low power Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave – plus six powerline options for home appliance networks. Appliance manufacturers will be reluctant to support multiple protocols because of cost implications.

NIST was given authority over US smart grid standards in 2007 and in September released a framework and roadmap for interoperability. Key principles include backwards compatibility with existing standards and that the eventual structure should be based entirely on IP.


Posted via email from Ippei’s @CloudNewsCenter info database


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