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Dealing With Unknown Impedance and Impulsive Noise in the Power-Line Communications Channel

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3 Author(s)
Lopes, P.A.C. ; INESC-ID, UTL, Lisbon, Portugal ; Pinto, J.M.M. ; Gerald, J.B.

Power-line communication (PLC) allows establishing digital communications without adding any new wires. It will turn one's house or neighborhood grid into a smart grid. PLC has some issues, namely, high noise at low frequencies and varying characteristic impedance. This paper addresses these issues to improve the signal-to-noise ratio by increasing the signal or reducing the noise. PLC MODEMs are subject to legislations that limit the signals in the line. The radiated signal is proportional to the current, but not to the input current, since the current forms a standing wave along the line. However, better performance can be achieved if the input current is measured. The receiver circuit of the transmitting MODEM can be used to estimate the input impedance. This paper presents a technique to use this new information to achieve better performance and to follow legislation changes in the band above 30 MHz. A study of the viability of using impulsive noise reduction techniques to further increase performance is also presented. The short noise pulses result in high correlation between the noises in different carriers. Impulse position detection should result in an increase in capacity.

Published in:

Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )