Power Line Communications for Smart Grid Services Deployment
Mentor: Fernando Cruz Roldán
Email: fernando.cruz@uah.es
Phone: (+34) 918856593
University: University of Alcalá
Partner Host Institution: Iberdrola - 2nd year of applied research compulsory. Contact at Iberdrola: Alberto Sendin Escalona (asendin@iberdrola.es). This research line has been developed by or together with IBERDROLA. The second year of applied research at IBERDROLA is compulsory under this line.
Keywords: Smart Grid, Power Line Communications, Broadband over Power Line, Electricity Grid, ITU-T G.9904, ITU G.hn

Power Line Communications for Smart Grid Services Deployment

Smart Grids (SG) are a result of the progressive application of information and telecommunication technologies to traditional electrical grids. SG services enable the introduction of grid edge technologies, resulting in a changing energy production and delivery model, with greater control and involvement by customers. SG services are both a desire and a must towards grid sustainability and efficiency.
Power Line Communications (PLC) are a key technology in any strategy for telecommunications enablement of grid infrastructure. PLC is an obvious telecommunications option that reuses traditional power lines and provides immediate, cost-effective delivery of network services wherever grid assets exist. PLC is arguably the most succesful technology for smart metering in Europe, where tens of millions of smart meter transceivers comply to ITU-T G.9903 (G3-PLC) or G.9904 (PRIME), and new deployments are considering broader band PLC systems (usually referred to as BPL, for Broadband over Power Line).
SG services constantly evolve and need ever higher bandwidth and reliability. This should be supported by the evolution of PLC technologies, standardization, and optimum usage of power lines as a transport medium for both narrowband PLC and BPL. These three components should be at the heart of a field assessment of existing grid infrastructure, and the definition of a deployment strategy that maximizes available, state-of-the-art final products.
This research line focuses on applied PLC, specifically for SG services. The work to be carried out focuses on making the deployment of PLC technologies for SG services viable, over Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV) grids, covering challenges not yet solved:
(i) Assessment of state-of-the-art PLC and BPL technologies working over MV and LV grids. This assessment:
i1) will be performed on real grids, including access to locations that cannot be accessed without the collaboration of a utility.
i2) will identify key parameters for the adjustment of existing PLC and BPL standards to real field grid situations.
(ii) Definition of a deployment strategy to combine existing/adjusted PLC and BPL to maximize coverage, performance and availability of SG services in MV and LV grids.
For this task, we are looking for candidates with experience in both PLC and BPL technologies, physical and medium access control (MAC) features, real on-field experience and systemic mindset to produce PLC-based solutions with predictable reach, availability and performance.

Departament: Signal Theory and Communications
Research Group: Communications, Multirate Systems, and Biomedical Engineering
More Information:
Relevants projects on the area: Definition and Validation of a Power Line Communications-based Telecommunications Network Deployment for Smart Grid services over Medium and Low Voltage Grid
Relevants publications on the area: 1.- A. Sendin, R. Guerrero and P. Angueira, ""Signal Injection Strategies for Smart Metering Network Deployment in Multitransformer Secondary Substations,"" in IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 2855-2861, Oct. 2011.
2-.A. Sendin, I. Peña, P. Angueira, ""Strategies for Power Line Communications Smart Metering Network Deployment,"" in Energies, 7, pp 2377-2420, 2014.