Steep increase in global demand for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Electric Vehicle charging, and Intelligent Street Lighting has spurred interest to implement communications for these Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) applications over currently installed assets. Narrow Band Power Line Communication (NB-PLC) addresses this need by providing a communication solution which operates over existing utility distribution networks.
IEEE 1901.2 Narrowband PLC: Final Steps to the Finish Line
Driving to the goal of a global NB-PLC standard, Cisco is vigorously engaged in the development of IEEE 1901.2 NarrowBand PLC. IEEE 1901.2 adopts the latest generation PLC techniques and provides full adaptation to the latest IETF enabling technologies for IPv6 based NANs (6LoWPAN, RPL, MPL, etc.). IEEE 1901.2 is further aligned with other important Smart Utility Network technologies such as IEEE 802.15.4g/e. Multi service IP based NANs are thus a reality, able to seamlessly support a mixture of PHY/MAC technologies appropriate for specific deployments
The IEEE 1901.2 standard is in its final stages of development, with publishing of the finished document expected by the end of 2013.
HomePlug Netricity for Conformance and Interoperability Certification
With the imminent arrival of the 1901.2 standard comes the need for a certification program to insure product conformance to the specification and interoperability between multiple vendor’s product offerings. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is rising to this challenge. HomePlug’s Netricity program, with the full support of Cisco, is moving smartly ahead with development of a conformance and interoperability certification program for IEEE 1901.2 based devices. Expect certification testing to begin 2014.
Cisco salutes the commitment and expertise of the entire 1901.2 and Netricity development teams. A global standard for interoperable NB-PLC will soon be a reality!
Tags: Connected Energy, Internet of Everything, IoE, IPv6, M2M, Smart Grid
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
For something with “micro” in its name, microgrids are becoming a pretty big deal. Microgrids are distributed, small-scale versions of the centralized conventional electricity grid systems.
According to an August 2013 report from research firm MarketsandMarkets, the total microgrid market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 17% between 2012 and 2022, reaching a total installed capacity of 15.4 gigawatts by 2022 and a value of $27 billion.
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Tags: Connected Energy, distribution, internet, microgrid, power management, Smart Grid, utility
Cisco’s Smart Grid Team is excited to support the Wireless Smart Utility Network Alliance (Wi-SUN). Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business, will be representing Cisco on the Wi-Sun board of directors. Cisco will be joining at the promoter level and the entire team is looking forward to helping drive the development of interoperable Field Area Networks (FAN) for utility applications.
Field Area Networks today are often closed, proprietary systems and generally just supporting a single service. As a result, they do not support interoperability across multiple vendors or take advantage of the decades of networking expertise available within the Internet Protocol suite (IP).
By supporting Wi-SUN, Cisco will help drive the technical definition for standards based, multi service, secure, and scalable Field Area Networks. The Field Area Networks will support important utility use cases including Automatic Metering Infrastructure, Outage Management, and Distribution Automation.
The Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network will be based upon the IP protocol suite, with the initial release based on IEEE 802.15.4g PHY and 802.15.4e MAC wireless mesh technologies. Usage of the IP protocol suite will provide many benefits, including the ability to support additional PHY/MAC technologies in the future.
Our team will further assist in the development of certification testing and “plug-fests” for regions around the world. This will ensure international interoperability between multiple vendors implementing the Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network.
“We are very pleased to be joining the Wi-SUN alliance, and look forward to collaborating with our industry partners to bring interoperable, standards based utility Field Area Networks to reality,” said Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business Unit.
Other companies who are promoters of the Wi-Sun alliance include:
Further details about the Wi-SUN Alliance can be found here
Cisco Connected Grid products and solution information is available here
Tags: Connected Energy, IPv6, M2M, Smart Grid
Enabling commercial, industrial and residential customers to better monitor and manage their energy consumption is a key benefit of a Smart Grid. As part of their grid modernization initiatives, utilities are providing information and incentives to end consumers. These include visibility to real-time energy consumption, as well as variable price and demand response signals that communicate with energy management devices and smart appliances.
This will drive more low power, often battery powered, wireless and wired energy sensors and actuators in the consumer premises. To date, this space is populated with several PHY/MAC specific, non-standardized protocol stacks which do not interoperate. To avoid multiple separate consumer networks a PHY/MAC agnostic solution is needed and this solution is best based upon open IP standards.
The ZigBee Alliance’s ZigBee IP (ZIP) standard is a first definition of an open standards based IPv6 stack for smart objects. The effort has made significant progress to bring IPv6 network protocols over 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks to reality.
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Tags: Connected Energy, IPv6, M2M, Smart Grid
Cisco recently sat down with Richard Creegan of Itron, Gary Murphy of BC Hydro and Dave Geier of SDG&E to discuss the current state of the smart grid transition and to get their perspectives on the new set of offerings in Cisco’s Connected Grid portfoli0. Through a host of new solutions, services and partnerships for utilities, Cisco aims to provide a common communications and network platform to help utilities move forward with grid modernization efforts.
We began with Itron, which joined with Cisco in 2011 in an effort to combine expertise and offer a fully-compliant IPv6 Field Area Network (FAN) solution to the industry.
Cisco: The alliance between Cisco and Itron has produced its first solution for the utility industry. Can you talk a little about why you felt this union made sense?
Itron: Both Cisco and Itron have their own unique expertise. When it comes to Cisco, information technology is core to what they do and it elevates the value of what we offer to customers. Combined with Itron’s proven expertise in delivering operational technologies that utilities use to run their businesses, this partnership established a vision to create a smart grid platform that will help move both companies forward.
Next we turned to BC Hydro and SDG&E, two utility companies who are both utilizing Cisco’s new FAN solution.
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Tags: Cisco Connected Grid, Connected Energy, Smart Grid