This week, the Consumer Electronics Association (News - Alert) (CEA) announced the release of a new standard for signals and messages exchanged among devices in a home and smart grid system—including sensors, thermostats, and appliances, as well as energy management hubs and controllers and residential gateways.
CEA—an Arlington, Virginia-based trade association that promotes growth in the $209 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry— cooperated with the public/private Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, on the development of American National Standard, ANSI/CEA-2045, Modular Communications Interface (MCI) for Energy Management. The MCI specifies a plug-in module that includes a wired connection between a residential device and external communications. Communication links may be provided for power line carrier (PLC) and radio frequency (RF), depending on the home area network (HAN) installed, or the connection to the access network of an energy-management service provider. The MCI plug-in module may be “user-installable” for a consumer product marketed as smart-grid ready. “I am very pleased by the cooperation between CEA and the SGIP in developing ANSI/CEA-2045,” said Dr. Kenneth Wacks, the chair of the CEA R7.8 MCI Subcommittee that developed the standard.
“Such cooperation demonstrates the commitment of CEA to the national goals of improving energy efficiency and reliability with smart grids. This standard provides consumer electronics companies and appliance manufacturers with flexibility to adapt products for smart grids by reducing the risks and costs of using proprietary communication technologies.”
“The publication of this standard for a modular communications interface demonstrates the responsiveness of the industry in advancing the goal of empowering consumers with better energy management tools and reinforces the industry’s energy efficiency efforts,” said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president of Research and Standards at CEA. “It benefits the smart grid market by allowing products to be manufactured with a common design and fitted with different communication capabilities as needed for regional markets.”
The standard specifies a base and an intermediate message set for demand response. The MCI also is capable of simply passing application messages from ClimateTalk, generic IP (Internet Protocol), OpenADR, SEP, and USNAP between the communications module and the end-device. The choice of message set depends on the program offered by the energy and equipment suppliers. Message sets may be added to accommodate future protocols.
This standard affords manufacturers, consumers and service providers the flexibility needed to select the best solution for the local environment.
Edited by Brooke Neuman