Nucleus is the first ZigBee device to act as both an in-premise display device and energy services gateway that can communicate inside and outside of the home. In this regard, consumers need only to connect the Nucleus to the utility smart meter, and then have the option of connecting smart home devices, and a smart phone interface that is currently under development, to the Nucleus.
GE's Nucleus™ energy manager with Brillion™ technology is an affordable, innovative communication and data storage device that provides consumers with secure information about their household electricity use and costs so they can make more informed choices about how and when to use power.
Using the ZigBee communication protocol, GE’s Nucleus will be capable of communicating with the smart grid and allowing consumers to manage their smart appliances and thermostats in response to utility price signals and take control of their energy consumption and costs.
ZigBee is a standards-based (IEEE 802.15.4), wireless communications protocol that is embedded in, and compatible with, a wide-range of energy-management devices in the home. ZigBee enables smart technologies – like appliances, thermostats and energy gateways – to receive signals from the utility through the home’s smart meter. Products that receive ZigBee certification are able to communicate with a broad range of devices, ultimately providing flexibility, reliability and cost-effectiveness.
“Purchasing a ZigBee-certified technology, like GE’s Nucleus energy manager, ensures that consumers will have a device that’s capable of talking to the utility smart meter and other smart products in the home,” said Venkat Venkatakrishnan, director, research and development, GE Appliances & Lighting. “ZigBee is quickly becoming the industry-accepted standard for communication within the home area network. Consumers should feel confident that their ZigBee device will make sense for their long-term energy-management needs.”
Underscoring its broad acceptance, a recent report by ON World indicates that ZigBee has already been adopted by more than 350 global manufacturers.1
Nucleus Delivers the Promise of Smart Grid to the Consumer’s Home
As utilities deploy smart meters, Nucleus will collect and store a consumer's total household electricity use and estimated cost data for up to three years, and display this data to consumers in near real-time on their personal computer or on a smart phone application under development. This information empowers consumers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage. In fact, a recent study shows that providing consumer feedback on energy usage results in consumer energy savings of up to 12 percent.2
By 2012, U.S. utilities are expected to install more than 40 million smart meters.3 These digital meters enable utilities to charge “time-of-use” (TOU) rates for electricity. TOU rates will reflect the actual cost of electricity, which varies throughout the day. When demand is low, electricity will cost less, and when demand is at its “peak,” utilities will charge more to reflect the true price of power.
Consumers will need innovative technologies to help manage and adjust to these TOU pricing plans. Along with having access to information about their whole-home electricity consumption, consumers who have the GE programmable thermostat with Brillion™ technology and GE Profile™ appliances enabled with Brillion™ technology in their homes will also have access to estimated consumption data on their home heating and cooling and major appliances. Smart home technologies have the potential to help consumers manage their energy bills, while helping utilities deliver better service to their customers.
Nucleus will communicate with home computers and smart phones using Wi-Fi. It will communicate with smart meters, smart appliances and smart thermostats via ZigBee. Certification testing of the GE technology was conducted by National Technical Services (NTS), an independent organization authorized by the ZigBee Alliance.
GE Appliances & Lighting is also the world's first appliance manufacturer to achieve ZigBee® Smart Energy certification for its GE Profile smart appliances with Brillion™ technology. GE’s suite of smart appliances includes ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, and the new GeoSpring™ hybrid water heater, as well as ranges, microwaves and clothes dryers.
To view a video about GE's Nucleus click here, and to view the website visit GEBrillion.com/.
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About GE Appliances & Lighting
GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company's ecomaginationSM initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (ge.com), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands.
1 ZigBee Alliance. “ZIGBEE ALLIANCE SURPASSES 100TH ZIGBEE CERTIFIED PRODUCT MILESTONE.”
2 American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. “Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs.” Authored by: Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, Kat A. Donnelly, & John A. “Skip” Laitner. Contributors: Dan York, Jacob Talbot, & Katherine Friedrich. ACEEE Report number E105. June 2010.
3 Parks Associates Study referenced on SmartGridNews.com.“Bringing the Smart Grid to the Smart Home: It's not all about the Meter.”