Freescale Semiconductor and Telecom Italia have presented the latest advancement of the Energy@Home consortium during the recent Design with Freescale (DWF) Italian session in Milan, Italy. Claudio Borean, Energy@Home task leader with Telecom Italia, announced during the event that the Energy@Home project is now ready to field test in 100 homes over the coming months. The ZigBee protocol that will be used to build an integrated platform and allow cooperation between the main devices involved in residential energy management is based on the ZigBee Home automation standard promoted by the ZigBee alliance, of which Freescale is a founding member.
The Energy@Home consortium, led by ENEL, Telecom Italia, Electrolux and Indesit, envisions a program that can provide users with information on their household energy consumption directly on the display of a metering appliance or remotely on a smartphone or computer. Using this information, consumers will be able to assess their energy use for home appliances and potentially enhance the energy efficiency of their entire house.
Energy@Home’s mission is to develop an interoperable Home Area Network (HAN) focused on energy management and energy saving. The goal of the project is to build a communication infrastructure that enables value-added services related to energy usage, consumption and costs in the HAN.
A typical Energy@Home system includes: an ADSL gateway with ZigBee; a smart device, such as a smartphone, connected to the electricity meter through a USB ZigBee dongle; smart appliances in the home such as refrigerators, washers and dryers; and smart plugs that allow appliances that are ZigBee-enabled to communicate with the HAN.
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