Leading Home Appliance Manufacturers Recommend HomePlug Technology for Smart Grid Solutions

November 16, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance announced that the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has rated HomePlug Green PHY (GP) as a leading communications protocol for smart grid applications. AHAM members produce over 95% of the appliances sold in the United States, and because home appliances are an integral part of the Smart Grid, they commissioned an independent study of communications protocols to determine which are most suitable for connecting appliances to the Smart Grid.

The study focused on communications protocols selected in the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid interoperability standard release 1.0 and candidate protocols recommended by AHAM. The study was comprehensive, scoring each protocol in 21 categories such as interoperability, cost to install and operate, performance, ease of operation and use, security and others. The study evaluated each protocol at the application, network and media layers with the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile 2.0 and OpenADR scoring highest at the application layer, and HomePlug GP, Wi-Fi and ZigBee scoring highest at the Network, MAC and PHY layers. The ZigBee SEP 2.0 application protocol runs over HomePlug, Wi-Fi and ZigBee networks.

"HomePlug powerline networking technology is an ideal backbone for today’s home area network," said Rob Ranck, the President of the HomePlug Powerline Association. "The AHAM study not only endorses HomePlug Green PHY as a key Smart Grid network protocol, it also supports the use of powerline networking to reach areas of poor wireless signal propagation and as a technology to extend the range of wireless LANs."

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has formed liaisons with the Wi-Fi Alliance and ZigBee Alliance to help facilitate interoperability between devices which operate on HomePlug, Wi-Fi and ZigBee networks using SEP 2.0 application protocols.