Prof. Brian Evans gave a keynote talk at the International Conference on Communications and Information Technology on June 20, 2013, in Beirut, Lebanon, entitled "Smart Grid Communications".
Smart Grid systems intelligently monitor and control energy flows in order to improve efficiency and reliability of power delivery. A local utility would receive customer load profiles from smart meters, and adjust power generation and energy distribution accordingly. Smart meters could transmit usage data over powerline or wireless links once per minute.
Smart meter communication over power lines is attractive because it uses existing infrastructure. However, it is limited by the strong impulsive noise, esp. from power electronics and wireless signals, within the 3-500 kHz transmission band.
In improving reliability of smart meter powerline communication (PLC), his group derives impulsive noise models using field measurements, develop receiver methods to mitigate the noise, and implement those methods in our real-time testbed. One of his group's impulsive noise models has been adopted by the IEEE 1901.2 PLC standard. His group's receiver methods demonstrate up to 10 dB of SNR gain, or equivalently up to a 4x increase in bit rate for the same bit error rate.
This research was supported by National Instruments, as well as the Semiconductor Research Corporation through liaisons Freescale Semiconductor, IBM and Texas Instruments.
The slides for the talk are available here