Investigation into the impedance and communication requirements for the low voltage distribution line in the high frequency spectrum

Haq, Tanzirul (2013). Investigation into the impedance and communication requirements for the low voltage distribution line in the high frequency spectrum. PhD thesis The Open University.



Power Line Communications is long established for low data rate applications over high- voltage power lines. It is now charting new territory in high speed data transmission to the high frequency band of IMHz and upwards over the low-voltage segment below the distribution transformers.' Since the power line is designed for transmission of power instead of signal transmitting originally; it has many shortages when used as a signal communication channel. The heterogeneous structure of the power line network with numerous branches and impedance mismatcheS causing reflections and attenuations during signal transmission, and thus communication signal cannot be sent out or received completely. From this point of view, the power line impedance is a very important parameter in the design of power line communication (PLC) modem architecture, which is subject to legislations that limit the signals in the line. Variations on the impedance of the power line affect the communications channel performance. For the optimum modem design, power line impedance must be known. Power line impedance changes with time, carrier frequency, load variations, architectures and locations of the lines in city, urban, rural & industrial environment.

The objective of this study is to determine the impedance of power distribution network in a frequency range from IMHz to 30MHz. This is in line with international standard bodies including CENELEC, IEC, ITV and ETSI, which stipulates that for propagation characteristics of power line and EMC regulations, data transmission rate are evolving and . are being extended all the time to data rate up to 100 Mbps.

This thesis covers impedance measurements carried out in college buildings in Somerset, UK together with some residential houses in Somerset and London. The college buildings have both three-phase and single-phase architectures with various laboratories where loads are randomly switched on and off. An impedance analyser is used to carry out the measurements which performs a scan through a programmable frequency limits and acquires impedance parameters in the frequency domain Measurements were monitored using Microsoft Remote Desk Top client application Series of experimental measurements were carried out in the Bridgwater College and residential houses in Bridgwater and also in London.

The first part of the thesis offers detailed introduction to the topics of electricity supply networks, power line communications, modulation techniques and electromagnetic compatibility, noise and transmission line characteristics.

From the experimental results, presented in graphical format, a number of conclusions can be drawn. A wide range of impedances are observed for single phase measurements, within the range of 3 - 584 Ω for large buildings and residential houses. For three phase measurements impedances varied from 21 - 340 Ω.

The thesis concludes with a suggestion of how these measurements may be used in PLC modem design. Dynamic output-impedance PLC modems may be designed using a real-time impedance detector of the power line and the adjustable output impedance-power amplifier. Therefore, modem output impedance may be matched to the real time line impedance.

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