Propagation of Power Line Carrier Signals Through the Distribution Transformer.

Horridge, Paul (1996). Propagation of Power Line Carrier Signals Through the Distribution Transformer. PhD thesis The Open University.



In the wake of the governments 1989 Electricity act, privatisation reforms have urged the Electricity Supply Industry to enhance the capabilities of its current communication infrastructure . With this realisation , the possibilities of using the industries own distribution network as a communication medium has become a serious proposition. Although this may seem an innovative solution , the use of electrical distribution feeders for conveying information is not in fact new.

However, recent advances in technology have provided solutions to the outstanding problem of attaining 'usable' data rates in the harsh power line environment. With this in mind, a power line telecommunications network seems a viable option for the electricity distribution companies. Unfortunately, a system which utilises both LV and MV networks remains presently unattainable , due to the unknown characteristics of the distribution transformer. Having highlighted the need to develop a 'through transformer' signalling system , the frequency characteristics of the distribution transformer have become of paramount interest.

Although spread spectrum systems are gaining widespread acceptance, the high process gain required in adverse communication environments mitigates against high data rates. Investigations have demonstrated that an alternative strategy of lower frequency techniques is capable of maintaining a comparable integrity of communications.

The following work catalogues the results and draws conclusions from research devoted to an investigation into the propagation of PLC frequency signals through distribution type transformers. From this analysis the viability of a 'through transformer' architecture may be assessed .

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