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WiFi, HomePlug Collaboration Facilitates Interoperability of Smart Grid Applications

Smart Grid

November 03, 2010

WiFi, HomePlug Collaboration Facilitates Interoperability of Smart Grid Applications

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor

The WiFi Alliance and the HomePlug Powerline Alliance have teamed up to facilitate and promote the adoption of HomePlug (News - Alert) powerline and WiFi networking technologies in smart grid applications.  The agreement enables cooperative efforts for joint technical review of Wi-Fi Alliance (News - Alert) and HomePlug specifications and standards that facilitate interoperability of smart grid applications.  The organizations will also engage on joint outreach to promote the adoption of wireless and powerline technologies for smart grid applications.

Both the WiFi Alliance (News - Alert) and HomePlug are participating members in the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).  The Smart Energy 2 Applications Profile (SEP 2.0) was selected last year by the U.S. Department of Energy and NIST as an initial interoperable standard for smart energy management with home area network (HAN) devices.  The WiFi Alliance and the HomePlug are collaborating to enable SEP 2.0 applications to operate across a diverse mix of wireless and wired networks.

"Both WiFi and HomePlug solutions will play key roles in energy management and connecting home systems and appliances to the smart grid," said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, in a statement.  Further, he added, "HomePlug and WiFi devices represent a large share of installed nodes worldwide, and ensuring seamless interoperability is critical for broad scale smart grid deployment."

Similarly, commented Edgar Figueroa (News - Alert), chief executive officer of the Wi-Fi Alliance, in another statement, "Working with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance will facilitate interoperability between WiFi equipment and devices connected to powerline home networks." "This collaboration will help bring about a great user experience with smart home technology," continued Figueroa.

While WiFi Alliance, which has completed more than 8000 product certification to-date, started the certification program in 2000, HomePlug recently completed the HomePlug "Green PHY" (GP) specification for smart energy /smart grid applications and the HomePlug AV2 broadband specification. However, HomePlug AV2 is due for completion in the first quarter of 2011. HomePlug has an installed base of over 60 million devices.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda

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