Special Issue "Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC)"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Circuit and Signal Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Francisco J. Cañete
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería de Comunicaciones, ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga 29010, Spain
Interests: signal processing for digital communications, especially in channel modelling and transmission techniques for wireless systems, underwater acoustic communications and power line communications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Power line communication (PLC) yields technology to use the already installed wires for power delivery, also for information transmission. It may be considered as smart or green communication, since allows to establish a new transmission system without additional resources. Since the power network was not deployed to attend to transmission requirements, PLC channels are rather hostile compared to other wired connections, and they exhibit features closer to wireless links than to wired ones (e.g., notable attenuation in short distance, high interference, low privacy, etc.). Despite this fact, PLC technology has provided products with a remarkable performance for different applications both in broadband, such as multimedia home networking, and narrowband, such as control systems for the Internet-of-things (IoT) and Smart Grids.

This Special Issue focuses on recent advances in the analysis, design, and implementation of communication systems over power networks, with an emphasis on physical layer and medium access control layer issues.

Dr. Francisco J. Cañete
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • channel measurement, characterization and modeling
  • modulation, coding and signal processing techniques
  • detection, synchronization and equalization techniques
  • PLC for smart grids and electric vehicles, smart cities and IoT
  • alternative PLC systems (in-vehicles, trains, ships, aircrafts, spacecrafts, direct current distribution systems, etc.)
  • PLC standardization and regulation technical issues
  • emerging PLC-related technologies: for instance the integration and cooperation between Wireless systems and PLC or between visible light communication (VLC) and PLC, etc.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cooperative Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access over Log-Normal Power Line Communication Channels
Electronics 2019, 8(11), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8111254 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we analyze the performance of cooperative power domain non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) in power line communication (PLC) networks. Due to the high signal attenuation of the source to user links, a relay aids communication from the source to two users. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyze the performance of cooperative power domain non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) in power line communication (PLC) networks. Due to the high signal attenuation of the source to user links, a relay aids communication from the source to two users. With half-duplex transmission, the source transmits a superimposed symbol in the first phase. The relay utilizes amplify-and-forward (AF) and decode-and-forward (DF) protocol on the received superimposed signal and forwards it to the users in the second phase. We derive analytic expressions for the outage probability and the system throughput of the proposed system under a PLC log-normal channel with impulsive noise. Based on the results for AF NOMA relaying case, we analyze the system performance at high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and derive closed-form lower and upper bounds for the outage probability. Simulation results show an improvement in the outage probability and the system throughput performance of the AF and DF NOMA schemes compared to the NOMA without relaying transmission and conventional orthogonal multiple access scheme. Furthermore, the impact of the channel variance is highlighted in the results. It is shown that the DF NOMA has a better outage probability than the AF NOMA scheme for low channel variance scenarios (i.e., less branches and connected loads in the PLC network). However, as the channel variance increases, AF NOMA scheme has similar outage probability performance as the DF NOMA scheme. In addition, it is shown that the system throughput is enhanced when the relay employs DF relaying compared to AF relaying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparison of Measurement Methods of LV Grid Access Impedance in the Frequency Range Assigned to Nb‑Plc Technologies
Electronics 2019, 8(10), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8101155 - 12 Oct 2019
Abstract
The paper presents and evaluates three advanced methods for the characterization of the low-voltage (LV) grid access impedance for the frequency range assigned to Narrow Band-Power Line Communications (NB-PLC): 9 kHz to 500 kHz. This study responds to the recent demand from both [...] Read more.
The paper presents and evaluates three advanced methods for the characterization of the low-voltage (LV) grid access impedance for the frequency range assigned to Narrow Band-Power Line Communications (NB-PLC): 9 kHz to 500 kHz. This study responds to the recent demand from both regulatory bodies and Distribution System Operators about the need for accurate and validated methods for this frequency band, due to the limited knowledge of the impedance values in the electrical grid and their influence on NB-PLC transmission channels. In this paper, the results of a collaborative work to develop different proposals to overcome the challenges for the proper characterization of the frequency and time-varying grid impedance, from different theoretical approaches, are presented. The methods are compared in a controlled and isolated scenario: the impedance characterization of passive filters. Then, the results are validated two-fold: first, against theoretical simulations, based on the schematics provided by the manufacturer, and second, against the measurement results of a precision impedance meter, used as a reference of accuracy. The results demonstrate a high degree of precision of the three proposals to characterize the access impedance of the LV grid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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Open AccessArticle
Field Trials for the Characterization of Non-Intentional Emissions at Low-Voltage Grid in the Frequency Range Assigned to NB-PLC Technologies
Electronics 2019, 8(9), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8091044 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The paper describes the results of a measurement campaign to characterize the non-intentional emissions (NIE) that are present in the low voltage section of the electrical grid, within the frequency range assigned to narrowband power line communications (NB-PLC), from 20 kHz to 500 [...] Read more.
The paper describes the results of a measurement campaign to characterize the non-intentional emissions (NIE) that are present in the low voltage section of the electrical grid, within the frequency range assigned to narrowband power line communications (NB-PLC), from 20 kHz to 500 kHz. These NIE may severely degrade the quality of the communications and, in some cases, even isolate the transmission devices. For this reason, the identification and characterization of these perturbations are important aspects for the proper performance of the smart grid services based on PLC. The proper characterization of NIE in this frequency range is a key aspect for the selection of efficient configurations to find the best trade-off between data throughput and robustness, or even for the definition of new improved error detection and correction methods. The huge number of types of NIE, together with the wide variety of grid topologies and loads distribution (density and location of homes and industrial facilities) are great challenges that complicate the thorough characterization of NIE. This work contributes with results from field trials in different scenarios, the identification of different types of NIE and the characterization both in time and frequency domains of all the registered disturbances. This contribution will be helpful for a better knowledge of the electrical grid as a transmission medium for PLC and, therefore, for evaluating the appropriateness of different robustness techniques to be applied in the next generation of smart grid services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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Open AccessArticle
An Effective Method to Calculate Frequency Response of Distribution Networks for PLC Applications
Electronics 2019, 8(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8060649 - 09 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Modelling and estimating power-line communication (PLC) channels are complicated issues due to the complex network topologies, various junctions, and changeable loads. This paper focuses on the frequency response characteristics (FRCs) of medium-voltage (MV) PLC networks with special consideration of two scenarios that are [...] Read more.
Modelling and estimating power-line communication (PLC) channels are complicated issues due to the complex network topologies, various junctions, and changeable loads. This paper focuses on the frequency response characteristics (FRCs) of medium-voltage (MV) PLC networks with special consideration of two scenarios that are often neglected but generally exist. In the first scenario, the MV distribution network is of the ring topology. In the second scenario, the MV overhead lines and underground cables join at junctions, and the shields of underground cables are grounded with nonzero grounding impedances at the junctions. These conditions lead to the failure of currently popular methods to different degrees. For this reason, we developed an effective method to calculate the FRCs of distribution networks for PLC applications. With this method, the frequency responses of nodes are simply expressed as the binary function of the overall tube propagation matrix and overall node scattering matrix, which is convenient for calculations and analyses. The proposed method was validated by the agreement between the calculated and measured FRCs. The results of two test examples showed that the proposed method performed better in comparison with the traditional approximate method when nonideal grounding conditions were taken into account. The proposed method is also independent of the network topology, so it can adapt to the dynamic changes of the network structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristic Impedance Analysis of Medium-Voltage Underground Cables with Grounded Shields and Armors for Power Line Communication
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050571 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The characteristic impedance of a power line is an important parameter in power line communication (PLC) technologies. This parameter is helpful for understanding power line impedance characteristics and achieving impedance matching. In this study, we focused on the characteristic impedance matrices (CIMs) of [...] Read more.
The characteristic impedance of a power line is an important parameter in power line communication (PLC) technologies. This parameter is helpful for understanding power line impedance characteristics and achieving impedance matching. In this study, we focused on the characteristic impedance matrices (CIMs) of the medium-voltage (MV) cables. The calculation and characteristics of the CIMs were investigated with special consideration of the grounded shields and armors, which are often neglected in current research. The calculation results were validated through the experimental measurements. The results show that the MV underground cables with multiple grounding points have forward and backward CIMs, which are generally not equal unless the whole cable structure is longitudinally symmetrical. Then, the resonance phenomenon in the CIMs was analyzed. We found that the grounding of the shields and armors not only affected their own characteristic impedances but also those of the cores, and the resonance present in the CIMs should be of concern in the impedance matching of the PLC systems. Finally, the effects of the grounding resistances, cable lengths, grounding point numbers, and cable branch numbers on the CIMs of the MV underground cables were discussed through control experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Impedance Matching Techniques in Power Line Communications
Electronics 2019, 8(9), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8091022 - 12 Sep 2019
Abstract
Impedance mismatch that degrades signal power transfer and affects communication reliability is a major obstacle for power line communications (PLC). Impedance matching techniques can be designed to effectively compensate for the impedance mismatch between PLC modems and power line networks at a specific [...] Read more.
Impedance mismatch that degrades signal power transfer and affects communication reliability is a major obstacle for power line communications (PLC). Impedance matching techniques can be designed to effectively compensate for the impedance mismatch between PLC modems and power line networks at a specific frequency or for a given frequency band. In this paper, we discuss the tradeoffs that need to be made when designing an effective impedance matching network. We also make a comprehensive review of previous state-of-the-art PLC impedance matching techniques and provide a useful classification of each technique. Finally, we discuss important issues (concerns) and provide suggestions for research directions deserving more attention. This review provides a useful guideline for researchers and manufacturers to quickly understand impedance matching principles and facilitate the design of an effective impedance matching coupler for PLC applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Power Line Communication (PLC))
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