Power Line Coomunications

Topics: Electric power transmission, Power line communication, Modulation Pages: 7 (1715 words) Published: March 15, 2013

“Power line communications (PLC) is a global technology with worldwide interest in its development. In its simplest terms, PLC modulates communication signals over existing power lines. This enables devices to be networked without introducing any new wires or cables. This capability is extremely attractive across a diverse range of applications that can leverage greater intelligence and efficiency through networking.” - Texas Instruments.


Let me start with a question and provide you a relevant answer to this:

Why Power Line Communication became important?

Power line Communication is currently emerging technology that is consequently attracting many researchers. Digital communications over power lines is a very old idea that was introduced back at the early 1920s. Many patents were filed in this area. Since then, all the utility companies around the world are successfully using this technology for metering, control and maintenance.

The liberalizations of telecommunications and the deregulation of electric utilities also added new dimensions to the potential application of the electricity infrastructure.

Recently, there is being a vast growth and a rising interest in exploiting the power grid to provide broadband Internet access to residential customers, offices and industries. The most astonishing aspect of this idea is the presence of infrastructure that is in place for power distribution, and the rise of multimedia services over it could be much more valued than any existing wired alternative. For example, if we try to rebuild the whole transmission system using optical fiber instead of cabling it would cost a great deal and would be irrelevant, whereas providing access to the Internet by using the existing cable lines is more beneficial.

As electrical power is indispensible so is the access to the Internet. PLC modems used are normally plugged into an electrical outlet, and the combination of these two networks is quite interesting and makes it a good option. Looking into the statistics of other broadband options such as xDSL and cable modems have only reached 10 percent of US. Even though 60 percent of households are connected to the Internet, there is a tremendous opportunity for power line communications to bridge this gap. On the other hand, there is also a growing development in the area of reusing in-building power line cables to provide a broadband LAN within the home or office.

The major advantage offered by power-line-based home networks, is the availability of an existing infrastructure of wires and wall outlets, so new cable installation is not required. Analyzing the above discussion we can come to know that Power Line Communication is unimaginably important and sustainable.

MIMO-OFDM based Broadband PLC:

Initially the Power lines were not designed for communication purpose. But researchers began to exploit the power lines and used it for communication purposes. Digital transmission is the core of any communications system, including Power Line Communications (PLC) systems.

When a new communication channel or medium is investigated by researchers they are many considerations that we need take look into among the known modulation and coding techniques. Unusual channels such as the PLC channel or medium may require adaptation of the known techniques or inspire research into developing new modulation and coding techniques with better performance. There might be more than one technique that suits the PLC channel. For different applications, different channel conditions should be taken into considerations. A unique condition may outperform the others and robustness under different conditions is of prime importance as the PLC channel is not so easy to predict. Fair amount of research is going on in modulation and coding for the two classes of PLC systems, namely narrowband and broadband PLC systems.

Lately, research on MIMO-OFDM...
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