SIP Forum mulls smart grid role

IP standard to link grid nodes?

Smart Grids involve modernising the electricity grid using communication technology to cut energy use and costs, increase reliability and enable new services. A similar approach could be applied to other utilities, such as water and gas.

Smart Grids need communications networks to enable nodes on the Grid to communicate. Although the electricity industry has its own protocols and standards, the SIP Forum says none of them address the need for a ubiquitous network, a nd most are quite different to those used in the communications industry.

The challenges facing the electricity industry are similar to those faced by the telecommunications industry a decade ago, which led to the deployment of IP networks and SIP as the protocol for session management.

The SIP Forum believes that its protocol could help the roll-out of the communications networks needed to build Smart Grids, so avoiding the learning curve involved in creating a separate protocol.

The special interest group will assess the value of SIP for networks including home area networks and utility operational networks, which include neighborhood area networks, backhaul networks and the core network.

It will also consider how SIP could be used to enable networks linking plug-in electric vehicles to systems controlling  charging, roaming, and telemetry.

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