Zigbee Alliance Reveals New Green Power Feature Set

June 28, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

The ZigBee® Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, announced development of the ZigBee Green Power feature set to establish a global, standard technology for self-powered devices operating through energy harvesting techniques.

According to ZigBee, these devices will communicate seamlessly with existing ZigBee and ZigBee PRO networks and will enable maintenance free, environmentally friendly products that eliminate the need for wires and batteries. ZigBee Green Power is said to enable new capabilities available to the ZigBee and ZigBee PRO networks.

When the ZigBee Green Power standard is made available to Alliance members at the end of 2009, ZigBee states that only it will offer an established, competitive marketplace for deploying switches, sensors and controllers using harvested energy in residential, commercial and industrial environments. According to Zigbee, its energy harvesting capabilities will give manufacturers greater flexibility when designing innovative ZigBee products and solutions.

Because ZigBee Green Power will work seamlessly with ZigBee and ZigBee PRO networks, it will enjoy all of ZigBee’s numerous strengths, including: uses popular IEEE 802.15.4 standard radios available from numerous suppliers; 2.4 GHz Band – offers simple global operation vs. country specific radio frequency; demonstrates robust performance in noisy radio frequency environments; makes network set-up and maintenance easy, along with large coverage areas, and renowned reliability; takes full advantage of ZigBee’s robust security suite; and a strong, cost competitive environment vs. single-vendor solutions.

"This new enhancement of the ZigBee standard demonstrates how such a dynamic ecosystem can bring innovation to the market," said Frédéric Vaillant, Vice President, Technology Innovation at Schneider Electric. "Having energy harvesting devices connected seamlessly to standard ZigBee networks will provide our customers with maintenance-free and even more environment-conscious solutions."

"ZigBee Green Power provides the world with a true standard for control and sensing products that can utilize harvested energy," said Bob Heile, Chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "These maintenance-free devices greatly expand your flexibility when added to comprehensive ZigBee networks already automating or monitoring businesses, homes and industrial environments."

This addition of ZigBee Green Power to the ZigBee family significantly expands the options available to manufacturers, further strengthening its leadership position as the global standard for wireless building automation devices offering a single, easy to install and use network. These networks are said to offer superb interference immunity and capabilities to host thousands of devices. With its ultra low-power requirements, ZigBee devices run on regular batteries for years, eliminating the need for wiring to a power source and offering unparalleled maintenance convenience and installation flexibility.