Powerline Communications for Smart Grids

Prof. Brian L. Evans

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Wireless Networking and Communications Group The University of Texas at Austin

In collaboration with PhD students Ms. Jing Lin, Mr. Marcel Nassar and Mr. Yousof Mortazavi and TI R&D engineers Dr. Anand Dabak and Dr. Il Han Kim

Tuesday, 17 July 2012, 13:00-14:30
Engineering Board Room, Bechtel Building, American University of Beirut

Slides - Software Releases - Notes from IEEE Smart Grid Short Course - Tutorial paper - Video demos of impulsive noise

Future Smart Grid systems will intelligently monitor and control energy flows in order to improve efficiency and reliability of power delivery. This monitoring and control requires low-delay, highly reliable communication between customers, local utilities and regional utilities. A vital part of future Smart Grids is two-way communication links between smart meters at the customer sites and a (decentralized) command and control center operated by the local utility.

To enable two-way communication links, powerline communication (PLC) systems operating in the 3-500 kHz band are attractive because they can be deployed over existing outdoor power lines. Power lines, however, have traditionally been designed for one-directional power delivery and remain hostile environments for communication signal propagation.

In this presentation, we review signal processing approaches to model impulsive noise and mitigate their effects in PLC systems in 3-500 kHz band. For impulsive noise, we show that the dominant component has a cyclostationary distribution, and that the secondary component follows a Gaussian mixture model. We examine ways to improve the communication performance based on current and emerging PLC standards.


Prof. Evans conducts research in signal processing and communication systems. His research group develops theory and algorithms, as well as design methods and full-system testbeds. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, and graduated 20 PhD and 9 MS students. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow "for contributions in multicarrier communications and image display". In 1997, he received a US National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

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