An advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) consists of a meter data management system, a concentrator, and a meter. Each component can communicate with all other components, through either wired or wireless connections. In an AMI local area networks, various protocols, such as Zigbee, WiFi, and power-line communication, have the potential to be used in AMI communication. Of these protocols, Zigbee offers self-constructing networks, low costs, and superior safety levels. Zigbee is adopted as the LAN communication protocol because of these advantages in this study. In a LAN, a concentrator may encounter many emergent situations, any of which might cause the concentrator to lose its network connection function. Consequently, additional time is required for network construction, which tends to reduce the reliability of smart grids with LANs of this type. To solve these issues, this paper proposes the fast join process (FJP) and enhanced FJP to shorten the time of Zigbee network construction. The strategy employed in this paper is to let every meter join a specified concentrator. The proposed FJP does not scan unnecessary channels. By simplifying association message exchange, we further propose a new method called the enhanced FJP. By using these methods, not only can message flow be managed easily, but the time of network construction can also be improved.
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