Smart Grid: Digi announces ZigBee Smart Energy development products

Digi International has introduced a Smart Energy product family, including what the company says is the industry's first ZigBee Smart Energy ready modules and certified Energy Service Portal (ESP) gateways built on these modules.
By Control Engineering Staff July 7, 2009

Digi International has introduced a Smart Energy product family, including what the company says is the industry’s first ZigBee Smart Energy ready modules and certified Energy Service Portal (ESP) gateways built on these modules. Based on the company’s XBee and XBee-Pro ZB offerings, the new modules feature firmware that simplifies development and certification of ZigBee Smart Energy devices.

Developer time reduced
Michael Kuhlmann, president of Residential Control Systems, said, “We developed a new programmable and controllable thermostat using the XBee SE module.” It reduced development time of the product “by almost half,” he added.
Digi has launched a development program for those interested in leveraging Smart Energy development products.
For more information about iDigi Energy, visit www.idigi.com .

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.
“The ZigBee Smart Energy profile is the standard for Smart Grid applications,” said Benno Ritter, vice president of marketing at the ZigBee Alliance. With the release of Digi’s new product family, the company is driving the energy industry forward by making it easier for OEMs to develop ZigBee Smart Energy devices.”
Digi’s new ZigBee Smart Energy product family includes the XBee and XBee-Pro SE ZigBee modules andConnectPort X2 ESP certified gateway. The ConnectPort X2 ESP gateway provides the connection between a consumer’s HAN and an energy service provider over a broadband or cellular connection. 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 reduce development and certification time.
Additionally, 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). Customers can also upgrade their existing XBee and XBee-Pro ZB modules with Smart Energy firmware free of charge.
Digi ZigBee Smart Energy products also expand the recently launched iDigi Energy wireless M2M solutions bundle, which features the hardware, hosted software and services necessary to integrate Smart Grid devices. iDigi now includes Smart Energy ready hardware as well as Smart Energy software support through the iDigi platform, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that connects remote assets to a customer’s applications.
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– Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor

Control Engineering News Desk