Turning our current grid into a Smart Grid requires the deployment of a communication overlay that collects and reports back information about the Grid’s status. Much of this overlay network will be wireless, and wireless technologies are one arena where the smart grid market is highly fragmented, both outside and inside the home.
Inside, technologies fighting to lead the emerging HAN (home automation network) market include Bluetooth, Zigbee, z-Wave, and Wi-Fi. These networks carry information about connected appliances and interact with smart thermostats, lighting and door locks. Which technology will prevail? Here’s some food for thought:
One person I spoke with at last February’s Distributech conference believes that Wi-Fi will win, due to its huge existing home presence. Sure, other technologies may have better bells and whistles, but this expert believes Wi-Fi is likely to prevail in the end. His reasoning: “If it’s not the same technology my wife uses to load photos onto our digital picture frame, it won’t work.”