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 Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The ITU-T group working on home networking specifications under the G.hn banner has agreed on some specifications for smart grid products. G.hn is a next generation wired home networking standard developed by ITU-T, which supports high-speed communication over power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable.

 

The recent agreement included a ‘low complexity’ profile targeted at smart grid applications. The profile offers a minimum set of G.hn parameters and specifications that define a specific system to meet a targeted range of applications.This will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for Smart Grid and other lower bit rate applications.

 

Additionally, the low complexity profile also specifies minimum requirements for features such as signal bandwidth, data modulation methods, transmitter linearity requirements, and forward error correction, or “FEC,” while maintaining interoperability with fully-featured G.hn products.

 

Some of the smart grid products that will benefit from G.hn specification include:

  • Smart Meters
  • In-Home Displays and smart thermostats
  • Plug-in Electrical Vehicles and Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Smart household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems
  • Energy System Interface devices

Smart grid applications that will benefit from G.hn include:

  • Utility-based Demand Response programs via broadband internet connections or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems
  • Remote troubleshooting to minimize cost
  • Support for realtime demand response systems that compensate users depending on their usage
  • Flexible control of appliances to reduce power consumption during peak periods


Also agreed was an Appendix to the G.hn standard that provides guidelines for using G.hn in smart grid applications and on how they work with other G.hn-connected consumer devices in the home. The Appendix provides guidance to G.hn product developers and users and describes how G.hn devices can be used as part of application layer Energy Management System software that resides above the G.hn physical layer and data link layer. Additionally, the appendix shows how G.hn smart grid devices interface to a service provider's smart grid access network via the Energy Service interface to support secure end-to-end smart grid services between the service provider and home.

 

In October, HomeGrid Forum, an independent body set up to promote G.hn announced that the standard has received approval from the National Institute Standards Technology (NIST) for use in various smart grid applications in the US. Given this announcement, HomeGrid Forum formed a smart grid initiative group, which will help to bring a range of G.hn-based devices to the smart grid market and home energy management applications.

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