The Zigbee Alliance has launched a new feature designed to improve the energy efficiency of devices connected using Zigbee technology.
The so-called ‘Green Power’ feature allows switches and dimmers, among other devices, to be run via energy harvesting sources rather than battery or AC mains power, creating what the Zigbee Alliance (San Ramon, USA) calls a “no-maintenance, environmentally friendly solution”.
The organization says that Green Power is an optional feature for the enhanced Zigbee 2012 specification that was recently ratified and released to Zigbee Alliance members.
Green Power would allow consumers and businesses to add Zigbee devices to many more areas, including locations where power is unavailable or not allowed for safety reasons or for historical preservation purposes.
It could also give manufacturers more confidence about introducing Zigbee into their products.
“The use of energy harvesting in commercial building automation, for example, can reduce operating costs while helping organizations to demonstrate green credentials,” said Lisa Arrowsmith, the manager of connectivity research for IHS.
Additionally, with over 35 million Zigbee-enabled smart home and home automation devices that are not line-powered project to be shipped by 2017, the Zigbee … Green Power feature also presents a compelling option in the residential space.”
As part of the testing and certification process, the Zigbee Alliance has selected “golden unit development kits” from a range of vendors, including GreenPeak Technologies (Zele, Belgium), Philips (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Schneider Electric (Rueil-Malmaison, France) and Texas Instruments (Dallas, USA).
It says that implementations will serve as benchmarks against which products conforming to Zigbee 2012 specifications will be tested.
Products using Green Power will be eligible to wear a Zigbee logo.
The Zigbee Alliance plans to run a webinar about Green Power on January 24.