PLC for the grid: considerations

The high amount of applications to be implemented in the Smart Grid requires bi-directional connectivity between a multitude of nodes with a reliable, high speed, low latency, energy efficient and cost effective communication technology.

Power line communication (PLC) has the potentiality to meet the requirements. Indeed, there exists space for PLC technology improvements and to overcome the challenges mostly due to a hostile communication medium.

There are two considered frequency spectra: a narrowband (3-500 kHz) spectrum and a broad band (1.8-86 MHz) spectrum that are exploited by current technology.

I have discussed in several talks and panels the usage of these spectra both in LV and MV networks, highlighting pros and cons and advocating the realization of an adaptive technology that can cognitively make the best usage of available resources so that the requirements of reliability, latency and coverage can be met.

Selected Publications

A. M. Tonello, A. Pittolo, “Considerations on Narrow Band and Broad Band PLC for Smart Grids,” IEEE SmartGridComm, Nov. 2015.

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