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Broadband PowerLine Communications: Performance Analysis

Authors: Justinian Anatory, Nelson Theethayi, M. M. Kissaka, N. H. Mvungi


Power line channel is proposed as an alternative for broadband data transmission especially in developing countries like Tanzania [1]. However the channel is affected by stochastic attenuation and deep notches which can lead to the limitation of channel capacity and achievable data rate. Various studies have characterized the channel without giving exactly the maximum performance and limitation in data transfer rate may be this is due to complexity of channel modeling being used. In this paper the channel performance of medium voltage, low voltage and indoor power line channel is presented. In the investigations orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) with phase shift keying (PSK) as carrier modulation schemes is considered, for indoor, medium and low voltage channels with typical ten branches and also Golay coding is applied for medium voltage channel. From channels, frequency response deep notches are observed in various frequencies which can lead to reduce the achievable data rate. However, is observed that data rate up to 240Mbps is realized for a signal to noise ratio of about 50dB for indoor and low voltage channels, however for medium voltage a typical link with ten branches is affected by strong multipath and coding is required for feasible broadband data transfer.

Keywords: OFDM, modulation, Channel Model, Branched network, powerline communications, channel performance

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