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Delivering Interoperability with Wi-SUN FAN Certified Devices at DistribuTECH 2020

DistribuTECH Network

By Phil Beecher, President and CEO, Wi-SUN Alliance

At this year’s DistribuTECH show, we saw strong evidence of the growing number of Wi-SUN FAN based products targeting smart city applications such as advanced metering infrastructure and street lighting. From the beginning, the Wi-SUN Alliance has implemented rigorous testing and certification programs to deliver secure, interoperable products. At DistribuTECH 2020 Wi-SUN Alliance member companies collaborated to demonstrate a multi-vendor Wi-SUN FAN network. The demonstrations featured certified Wi-SUN FAN devices from multiple vendors distributed across the show floor at both the manufacturers’ booths and at the Wi-SUN booth. The over-the-air traffic between the devices was captured and displayed on a monitor at the Wi-SUN booth as a dynamic graphical display of the network.

In addition to this demonstration, close to 20 Wi-SUN Alliance member companies exhibited at this year’s show, showing the growing Wi-SUN FAN ecosystem. In of the year since we first announced the Wi-SUN FAN Certification program we have seen an ever-increasing number of certified Wi-SUN FAN products from our member companies. To hear more from some of members about their Wi-SUN FAN solutions please visit here.

Other highlights included a panel session with Wi-SUN Alliance, Xcel Energy, AvanGrid and Enernex. The panel session “How FAN Standards Are Enabling Smart Utilities and Smart Cities” was moderated by Vicki Trees from Landis+Gyr and touched on a number of key topics including the status of smart cities, connectivity, security and thoughts on where the industry will be in the next 12-18 months.

Kyle Grossman from Xcel Energy, shared that they are now on the path of deployment with meters in the field.

Paul Sisson from Avangrid, strongly believes that interoperability will accelerate the digitalization of the grid in a cost effective way, and Avangrid are supporting this path. As hundreds of millions, and soon billions, of intelligent and connected devices are used to optimize the management of critical infrastructure and resources, and to provide new services, interoperability will be critical to assure affordable and secure solutions in a rapidly evolving environment.

Jeremy Laundergan from EnerNex, provided an update on Hawaiian Electric’s grid modernization efforts. They are currently in Phase I and are looking forward to integrating Wi-SUN FAN certified products into their grid infrastructure.

The next phase of Wi-SUN FAN profile specification and certification program is already underway with the inclusion of higher data rates and lower latency and a certification program to support battery-operated devices, enabling new applications to be supported.

Wi-SUN Alliance has a four tier membership program, comprising Promoter, Contributor, Observer and Adopter members, each offering different benefits.  Our Spring Member meeting is set for March 25-26 in Raleigh, NC hosted by Itron and we hope you will join us. If you would like to hear more about what we do and about becoming a member we would be delighted to talk further or please visit: https://wi-sun.org/become-a-member/.