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Toshiba's communication unit for smart meters obtains certification for ECHONET Lite application-layer communications between smart meters and HEMS controllers

News   •   May 29, 2014 02:00 GMT

Toshiba Corporation today announced that its communication unit is the first to receive certification as meeting the Interface Specification for Application Layer Communication between Smart Electric Energy Meters and HEMS *1 Controllers (hereafter “the SMA Specification”), the specification defined in a public-private agreement by the JSCA Smart House/Building Standardization and Business Promotion Study Group*2. Installation of smart meters integrating the unit is scheduled to begin in Japan this year, in Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated's (TEPCO) service area.

Toshiba's new communication unit was certified by the HEMS (ECHONET Lite) Interoperability Test Center *3 at Kanagawa Institute of Technology (KAIT), the first third-party certification body able to carry out the equipment test accredited by the ECHONET Consortium*4.

Compliance with the SMA Specification ensures the unit provides full interoperability for the application layer communication between smart meters and HEMS controllers. Toshiba will deploy the unit to improve connectivity with HEMS, making it possible to provide many users with interoperable communication services.

The unit meets the public-private agreement within the HEMS-to-Smart Meter (Route B) Implementation Guidelines (Version 1.0), which was developed by JSCA Smart House/Building Standardization and Business Promotion Study Group. This covers the adoption of ECHONET Lite as the standard communication interface, compliance with the SMA Specification standardized by the ECHONET Consortium, and conformity verification by a third-party certification body.

This technology is part of the overall advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution that Landis+Gyr, a Toshiba Group company, is providing to TEPCO. The communications units for TEPCO are all managed by Landis+Gyr's Command Center Head End System (HES), which delivers highly scalable common network management for all communications technologies used by TEPCO, including 1:N, RF Mesh and G3 PLC. The Command Center supports management and control of ECHONET devices within the AMI system, allowing the utility to integrate management of the HEMS devices with other utility business functions, such as demand response.

*1HEMS: A Home Energy Management System that controls home appliances in order to secure efficient use of energy.
*2A study group in the Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) that discusses the challenges to be solved in order to further expand smart houses and buildings.
*3Organization established in 1997 by Sharp, TEPCO, Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric. http://sh-center.org/en/
*4http://www.echonet.gr.jp/english/

* ECHONET Lite is a trademark of the ECHONET Consortium.