Wideband Power-Line Carrier: Viability analysis


ENDESA Network Factory S.L.

Since the beginning of 20th century, the power line high voltage (HV) network has been exploited as a communications medium. Since no other communications network could offer such a geographic presence, reliability and cost effectiveness; electrical utilities core services, i.e., monitoring, operation management and limitation and removal of failures, were carried out by means of power line carrier (PLC) systems. Multicarrier modulation (MCM) begins to play an important role in HV communications. MCM inherent robustness against multipath effects and narrowband interferers, in addition with the high spectral efficiency that can be achieved, is making MCM and its most efficient version, OFDM, the choice for manufacturer’s next generation HV PLC. Although the licensed band for PLC is located from 40 kHz to 500 kHz, this project has shown that in certain situations, the propagation can be favorable enough to use the frequency range above that upper limit. Moreover, the channel characteristics, in terms of transfer function and noise scenario, and based on measurements, call for the exploitation of that range by cognitive radio techniques based on OFDM implementations. While trying to reduce the inference on other PLC equipment in the PLC-licensed band and on the existing broadcast signals on the non-PLC-licensed band, this work has proposed a symbol design that has in mind the minimization of the transmitted power spectral density.