Alternative approach to Power Line Communication (PLC) channel modelling and multipath characterization.
Modelling and characterization of the Power Line Communication (PLC) channel is an active research area. The research mainly focuses on ways of fully exploiting the existing and massive power line network for communications. In order to exploit the PLC channel for effective communication solutions, physical properties of the PLC channel need to be studied, especially for high bandwidth signals. In this dissertation, extensive simulations and measurement campaigns for the channel transfer characteristics are carried out at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in selected offices, laboratories and workshops within the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. Firstly, we employ the Parallel Resonant Circuit (PRC) approach to model the power line channel in chapter 4, which is based on two-wire transmission line theory. The model is developed, simulated and measurements done for validation in the PLC laboratory for different network topologies in the frequency domain. From the results, it is found that the PRC model produces similar results to the Series Resonant Circuit (SRC) model, and hence the model is considered for PLC channel modelling and characterization. Secondly, due to the time variant nature of the power line network, this study also presents the multipath characteristics of the power line communication (PLC) channel in chapter 5. We analyse the effects of the network characteristics on the received signal and derive the multipath characteristics of the PLC channel from measured channel transfer functions by evaluating the channel impulse responses (CIR). The results obtained are compared with results from other parts of the world employing similar approach based on the Root Mean Square (RMS) delay spread and are found to be comparable. Based on the CIR and extracted multipath characteristics, further research in PLC and related topics shall be inspired.