This competitive ecosystem will likewise empower consumers to manage
their home energy consumption with confidence and will provide certain
levels of control to their selected energy providers, allowing the
parties to optimize costs.
One aspect of the smart grid that is
gaining momentum is the rollout of "smart appliances" that can adjust
their operating parameters based on measurement feedback from consumers
or utility companies. All of the major appliances in the connected home
would have individual energy measurement capability, remote control and
networking capability on the home area network (HAN).
November, GE Appliances & Lighting announced the creation of a Home
Energy Management business, whose offerings will link to the smart grid
system to provide insight into and control over energy usage within the
entire home. In a recent report, IMS research predicts nearly 10 million
smart appliances will be installed in US homes by the end of 2020, a
prospect that presents significant opportunities for consumers,
technology developers, device manufacturers and service providers alike.
As gateways within the HAN, smart meters play a key role in
smart grid power distribution networks. They monitor energy usage by
smart appliances HVAC and other home systems, and they communicate the
data to consumers and utilities in real-time, allowing energy providers
and users alike to make more informed decisions.
smart meters' critical role in modernizing the grid, Renesas Electronics
America and other semiconductor leaders are developing silicon
solutions that meet the specific design criteria for this market,
including interoperability for ZigBee, Wi-Fi, powerline communications
and other networking protocols. Companies are fielding optimized
microcontrollers and tailored system designs that integrate everything
from the MCU and voltage metering systems to data storage and displays.
pricing will also be a key factor in broad consumer adoption of smart
grid systems within the home and, ultimately, full deployment of the
smart grid. Leveraging the data provided by smart meter systems, energy
resellers could actively broker from a range of power generation
technologies, packaging energy from the most cost-efficient generation
sources to supply energy efficiently to a wide user demographic.
the smart grid is still in the early stages of deployment, stakeholders
from across the spectrum have committed to smart energy.
targeted end result –full implementation of the smart grid – will enable
orders-of-magnitude gains in efficiency and, ultimately, a wiser
allocation of resources.
About the author:
Brian Davis is director of the Segment Marketing, Consumer & Industrial Business Unit at Renesas Electronics America Inc.
This article was originally published in EE Times' special digital issue entitled: "The connected home"