NEMA publishes code for electrical metering; ZigBee for wireless smart metering

NEMA’s latest electricity metering code establishes acceptable performance criteria for meters and devices for revenue metering. Daintree licenses Certicom security technology for a sensor network analyzer for testing, analysis, and commissioning of IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee wireless systems.


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) ing. Daintree licenses Certicom technology using Certicom’s Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) security for the Daintree Sensor Network Analyzer (SNA) for testing, analysis, and commissioning of IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee wireless systems. 

Both developments relate to energy efficiency and sustainable energy use. Also read : Demystifying ZigBee and its Application : A look at the differences between IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee wireless systems.

NEMA published ANSI C12.1-2008 Code for Electricity Metering . According to Scott Weikel, chairman of C12.1 committee, producers of the Code, it continues to provide basic requirements for electronic and electromechanical kWh metering. Information on related subjects, such as recommended measurement standards, installation requirements, test methods, and test schedules is included. The Code is useful to utilities, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies.

Most meter specifications have been retained from the previous edition, although some changes were made in the area of surge withstand. Additions to the text clarify test procedures and criteria to pass tests.
“This version of C12.1 has been modified in several areas in an effort to respond to a changing industry and to improve the clarity of some of the tests,” Weikel said. “The changes, while not extensive, aim to improve the consistency of test procedures and improve the quality of the metering products. This standard continues to form the basic requirement for all kilowatthour metering instruments– both electronic and electromechanical.”
Minor changes to the temperature rise test make testing more uniform. Supplementary information was added to the equality of current circuits test, the electrostatic discharge test, and the relative humidity test to clarify processes. References to external documents were updated.

Another standard in the series, ANSI C12.20, provides different test tolerances and different tests required for higher accuracy metering devices.

The contents and scope of ANSI C12.1-2008 may be viewed, and a hard copy or electronic copy purchased for $119, by visiting NEMA’s Web site; after September 1, 2008, the price will increase to $124.

Daintree Networks licenses Certicom ECC technology for wireless smart metering : Certicom Corp . announced that Daintree Networks , a provider of design verification and operational support tools for wireless embedded networks, has licensed its Security Builder MCE and Security Builder Crypto products to bring to market secure, low cost, and low bandwidth ZigBee Smart Energy networking products.

Daintree will forge Certicom’s Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) security into its Sensor Network Analyzer (SNA) to provide a solution for testing, analysis, and commissioning of IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee systems. Daintree’s standards-based analyzer uses the latest ZigBee specifications.

Driving certified interoperability in the wireless smart metering market and ZigBee Smart Energy are important, said Jim Alfred, director of product management for Certicom. He predicted: “In the coming months, we will see more utility providers around the world embracing smart metering as they seek more efficient or‘greener’ energy management schemes.” Certicom helps ensure the robustness and security of smart metering networks, he added. 

Certicom’s Security Builder MCE toolkit provides cryptographic algorithms and security protocols for ZigBee devices, allowing devices to authenticate with the network and ensure that data and commands are properly secured. The toolkit is optimized for small code size and resource-constrained environments.

Daintree’s SNA has been used to certify 17 ZigBee Smart Energy products, company said. The products help utility companies implement systems for managing energy and helping consumers improve energy efficiency.
Companies that want to have input on developing the ZigBee specification and create ZigBee products can join the Alliance online. The ZigBee specification is available for free download from the ZigBee Web site.

–  Control Engineering News Desk
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