Zigbee adds energy harvesting to PRO profile

December 19, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
The ZigBee Alliance has launched a new profile that allows wireless devices such as switches and dimmers to be powered with available energy harvesting sources rather than using a battery or AC mains power.

Green Power is an optional feature for the ZigBee PRO feature set that is part of the enhanced ZigBee 2012 specification recently ratified and released to Alliance members. With ZigBee PRO Green Power products, consumers and businesses can add ZigBee devices to many more areas including locations where power is unavailable, not allowed for safety reasons or for historical preservation purposes.
“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, manager of connectivity research for IHS. “Additionally, with over 35 million ZigBee-enabled ‘smart home’ and home automation devices that are not line-powered projected to be shipped by 2017, the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature also presents a compelling option in the residential space.”
As a part of the extensive Alliance test and certification plan development process, it selected golden unit development kits from GreenPeak Technologies, Philips, Schneider Electric and Texas Instruments.
“GreenPeak is very enthusiastic about the ZigBee Alliance announcing the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature for battery-free devices. Battery-free has been in GreenPeak’s charter since its foundation. Today, Green Power creates autonomous sensors: install them and forget them,” said Cees Links, founder and CEO of GreenPeak Technologies. “Standardizing the elimination of batteries is the next step needed to enable the Smart Home where light switches and sensors in and around the house are interconnected, but without the burden of keeping batteries charged. We are looking forward to contribute to making this maintenance-free and environmentally friendly initiative a success.”
These implementations will serve as golden units against which future ZigBee Certified products using the ZigBee 2012 specification will be tested. This testing process ensures compliance with the standard so that manufacturers can be assured of consistent communications. Testing services were provided by NTS, TRaC and TÜV Rheinland.
“The Green Power feature for ZigBee PRO will allow development of the most eco-friendly products possible,” said