Digi International unveiled the ZigBee Smart Energy product family. The Digi ZigBee Smart Energy family consists of the XBee and XBee-PRO SE ZigBee modules and ConnectPort X2 ESP certified gateway. Built upon the existing XBee and XBee-PRO ZB, the new XBee and XBee-PRO SE modules feature firmware that simplifies the development work required to develop and certify a ZigBee Smart Energy device. The ConnectPort X2 ESP gateway provides the connection between a consumer’s HAN and an energy service provider over a broadband or cellular connection.
The ZigBee Smart Energy public profile defines how a collection of devices works cooperatively within a network, enabling utilities to intelligently manage energy loads, monitor energy use and optimize consumption. As a device communication standard for home area networks (HANs) selected by the U.S. Department of Energy in their initial standards framework for Smart Grid development, ZigBee Smart Energy is a key technology for addressing America’s energy management needs in the future.
XBee and XBee-PRO ZB ZigBee modules feature ZigBee Smart Energy-ready firmware for supporting the implementation of each of the eight devices defined in the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile. These include ESPs, metering devices, in-premise display devices, programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs), load controllers, range extenders, smart appliances, and prepayment terminals. Developers making these devices can now use Digi’s Smart Energy products and iDigi Energy bundle to dramatically reduce the development and certification time, and overall expertise required, to produce a ZigBee Smart Energy product.
In addition, XBee and XBee-PRO ZB ZigBee modules handle networking, joining, authentication and key establishment functions, and provide simple network and module configuration via the XBee Application Programming Interface (API). Desingers can also upgrade their existing XBee and XBee-PRO ZB modules with Smart Energy firmware free of charge.
The ConnectPort X2 ESP enables energy service providers to deploy HAN devices that are completely managed by the Digi gateway over a broadband or cellular connection, enabling Smart Grid services to be deployed in areas not covered by Smart Metering networks. Once a Smart Meter is installed, the gateway can join that network providing programmable energy services in the home and secondary communication paths over public networks for enhanced energy service offerings. The ConnectPort X2 ESP was tested and certified using National Technical Systems’ (NTS) ZigBee Smart Energy (SE) Test Harness.