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Smart Grid collectively refers to various visions of how energy generation, distribution, and consumption should be managed to overcome many of the shortcomings of today's electricity grids and to sustain our ever more electricity dependent societies. One important enabling component of Smart Grid will be a fine-grained and reliable communications infrastructure that links together the many elements of the grid. Since by definition all these elements are connected to power lines, power line communications (PLC) technology is a natural candidate to build parts of such an infrastructure. In this paper, we consider the use of PLC in low- and medium-voltage distribution grids to connect network nodes (e.g., meters, actuators, sensors) through multihop transmission. In particular, we address the problem of routing of unicast messages making use of the stationarity of nodes. To this end, we motivate and investigate the application of geographic routing protocols and gauge their performance with respect to energy consumption and transmission delay.
Date of Conference: 4-6 Oct. 2010