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GRC Task 1836.063, P rof . Brian L. Evans , Embedded Signal Processing Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin Students: Jing Lin, Yousof Mortazavi. Objective : Quantify communication performance vs. complexity tradeoffs in a real-time bi-directional MIMO PLC testbed .

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powerline communications for enabling smart grid applications

GRC Task 1836.063, Prof. Brian L. Evans, Embedded Signal Processing Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin

Students: Jing Lin, YousofMortazavi

Objective: Quantify communication performance vs. complexity tradeoffs in a real-time bi-directional MIMO PLC testbed.

LAST MILE OF SMART GRID

Real-time PLC Prototype

  • 1x1 Real-time Bidirectional Powerline Communications Testbed
  • Local Area Power Network
  • We focus on the “last mile” of the smart grid from a concentrator to its subscribers along low-voltage lines.
  • The applications include:
  • automatic meter reading
  • device-specific billing
  • smart energy management,
  • home area network, etc.

Powerline Communications for Enabling Smart Grid Applications

STANDARDS AND BEYOND

  • Medium-Frequency Narrowband PLC Standards

G3and PRIMEare prevalent standards for medium-frequency (kHz) narrowband (~100kHz) multicarrier powerline communications on low-voltage lines. Data is transmitted over multiple subcarriers, a.k.a. orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM).

PowerlineChannel Impairments

  • By transmitting independently over many subcarriers, OFDM is capable of coping with the frequency-selective channel. The demodulation of OFDM symbols by discrete Fourier transform spreads out and thus mitigate the effect of the impulsive noise.
  • To enable more robust and efficient communication, adaptive signal processing methods need to be developed:
  • Peak-to-average ratio reduction
  • Channel shortening equalization to compensate for extra long delay spread
  • Bit allocation
  • Impulsive noise statistical estimation and mitigation by non-linear filtering or iterative decoding, etc.
  • Multichannel (MIMO) OFDM over Powerline

The availability of three phases on low-voltage lines and three copper wires (i.e. phase, neutral and ground) in the inhome single-phase power systems allows potentially double or even triple the data rates. However, the presence of cross-talk induced by energy coupling across the phases or wires may cause significant degradation in achievable data rate.

Powerline

RX A

TX A

AFE

AFE

mode 0

ECHO

TX C

RX C

NEXT

FEXT

NEXT

RX B

TX B

AFE

AFE

mode 1

TX D

RX D

Our prior work on a real-time 2x2 MIMO OFDM wired testbed achieved 2x data rate vs. the 1x1 system by far-end, near-end crosstalk cancellation methods, and other adaptive algorithms.

Deliverables

  • Ongoing work: single-transmitter single-receiver (1x1) powerline communication testbed
  • Looking ahead: multiple-transmitter multiple-receiver (MIMO) powerline communication testbed