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AHAM Assesses Smart Grid Appliance Protocols
Oct 26, 2010
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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) announced the findings of the home appliance industry’s technical evaluation of communications protocols for smart grid enabled home appliances.

The results are based on a technical evaluation of numerous existing technologies designed for the Application (APP), Network (NET), and Media (MAC, PHY) layers of communications protocols. Each technology was evaluated against a set of consumer requirements, as identified by participating AHAM members and ranked using a requirements-driven scoring system by an independent consultant on the ability of the technology to meet the unique needs of appliance consumers.

According to assessment results, the most relevant communications technologies were clearly separated from their peers for use in smart grid appliance applications.

For the Application layer, SEP 2.0 and OpenADR scored the highest. Across the physical, media, and network layers evaluated, Wi‐Fi, ZigBee, and HomePlug Green PHY scored the highest.

In addition to the evaluation of the existing technologies, the assessment presents a clear position by the home appliance industry that the preferable communications architecture at this time features a hub that can communicate using common protocols and serve as the bridge to other devices on the Home Area Network (HAN).

“The release of this assessment marks a major milestone for the appliance industry and another step toward successful deployment of smart grid enabled appliances. This study will assist appliance manufacturers in helping consumers to take advantage of new grid enabled appliances,” stated AHAM President Joseph M. McGuire.

This Assessment was developed to address the four communication parameters, namely an open, flexible, secure, and limited in number set of communication standards, outlined in AHAM’s previous White Paper titled, “The Home Appliance Industry’s Principles & Requirements for Achieving a Widely Accepted Smart Grid,” released in December 2009.

The Assessment of Communication Standards for Smart Appliances can be downloaded for free at www.aham.org/smartgrid

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