ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today launched a new Smart Grid committee to advance standardization of the Modular Communications Interface (MCI) specification. The new standard will benefit manufacturers, utilities, service providers and consumers as it leads to more Smart Grid-ready products.
The MCI specification, created by the Universal Smart Network Access Port (USNAP) Alliance and based on research from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), will enable manufacturers of consumer products to build Smart Grid-ready products that can obtain energy information from digital meters and energy system interfaces regardless of the communication technology used.
The USNAP Alliance will work with the CEA committee, CEA R7.8 Modular Communication Interface for Energy Management, to support the industry adoption of the MCI standard through certification and test programs. EPRI will continue to provide valuable research, conducting interoperability workshops through which prototype devices and demand response programs can be evaluated.
“This committee is designed to accelerate the adoption and growth of Smart Grid-ready products,” said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president of research and standards, CEA. “We’re eager to build on the significant efforts of USNAP and EPRI to create this standard by further addressing the needs of manufacturers, utilities, service providers and consumers alike.”
At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), independent modular interface initiatives from the USNAP Alliance and EPRI were merged into a unified specification that identifies the interface between a Universal Communication Module (UCM) and a Smart Grid Device (SGD). A NIST working group completed the MCI specification, and it was formally submitted to CEA to facilitate creation of the standards development project.
“This new specification addresses a significant gap in the Smart Grid for a unifying technology that enables a range of consumer products to respond to demand response events,” said Brian Seal, technical executive, EPRI.
“Consumers benefit from the selection of Smart Grid-ready products that can be used anywhere in the country,” said Jon Rappaport, chairman,USNAP Alliance. “Manufacturers benefit because they can build standardized products capable of working in any service territory. Utilities benefit because this specification reduces the risk of stranded assets.”
About USNAP Alliance:
The USNAP Alliance is an open industry association publishing industry specifications for connecting energy aware consumer products with energy interfaces such as smart meters and energy system interfaces. The Alliance publishes specifications, tests and certifies products and provides information to consumers, utilities and vendors on the benefits of the standard. Alliance membership is comprised of utilities, manufacturers, consultants and other parties interested in developing or deploying the standard. For more information, or to find out how to join the Alliance, please visit www.usnap.org.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $190 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media; https://www.facebook.com/#!/CEAfeed, http://twitter.com/ceafeed, http://blog.ce.org/.
2012 International CES
January 10-13, 2012, Las Vegas, NV