The increased integration of smart meters in the Han arena means there will be an increasing number of applications and that eventually smart thermostats, energy displays, appliances and home management tools will be connected.
The likely standard to lead the home networking charge is ZigBee, a wireless network used for home, building and industrial control. ZigBee conforms to the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard for low data rate networks. Pike Research, however, notes that power line communications and other radio technologies will also play a role.
Pike senior analyst Bob Gohn, says “HAN connectivity is a key enabler of a whole host of new consumer smart grid applications. Over the next few years, the technology will be in place for widespread adoption of smart thermostats, energy information displays, smart appliances, and other key tools for home energy management.”
Gohn also observes that even though it is anticipated ZigBee will lead the HAN technology race with approximately 87% market share; other radio frequency and power line communications technologies will also have a role, particularly in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Pike Research separates the smart meter market into basic meters, which transmit energy data over two-way communications networks, and advanced meters, which include basic functionality plus remote disconnect and HAN capabilities. The report also expects that even though advanced meters with HAN connectivity will become increasingly common, 51 percent of global smart meters will still be Basic AMI meters without this functionality for the foreseeable future.
Pike Research provides in-depth analysis of global cleantech markets.