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Smart grid deployments face set back

Posted: 27 Apr 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SEP2 protocol  smart grid deployments  Smart Energy Profile 2.0  Wi-Fi  HomePlug powerline 

The Smart Energy Profile 2.0 (SEP2) standard, which was set for ratification as early as last week, is looking at the addition of a new protocol that could set back smart grid deployments by as much as six months.

SEP2 is a key software layer for bringing smart grid data into the home. It adds support for any network transport including Wi-Fi and HomePlug powerline to the existing SEP 1.0 standard based only on Zigbee.

Calling for the addition of a new protocol to the 2.0 standard, Zigbee chip vendor Ember said the existing protocol based on HTTP over TCP was "too chatty," and has sought an alternate protocol based on UDP.

Engineers working to finish up the HTTP protocol will need to create the new protocol from scratch before the standard can be finished, and that could take six months, said the source.

The move may have been motivated by a desire to drive early deployments to SEP1 using Zigbee rather than SEP2 and Wi-Fi. But the move could backfire, driving some utilities that already have working SEP2 software to Wi-Fi, the source said.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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