Powerline Communications in the Smart Grid


In Charge: Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Lehmann
Project Funding: Energiecampus Nürnberg, Bayerische Staatsregierung
Duration: 04/11 -- 05/14
Keywords: Smart Grid, Powerline Communication, PLC, MAC, Network Coding



Smart Grid, alternative energies, shutdown of nuclear power plants, peak oil, energy turnaround for sustainability, those ``buzz-words'' have been all over the media for the last months. In order to solve the related problems and stabilize as well as modernize the energy grid, advanced communications schemes are needed. The modern energy grid, the so called ``Smart Grid`` has special requirements in terms of communications. The communications infrastructure has to be highly reliable and failure proof. It has to be robust and has to able to handle switching within the network as well as blackout. We suggest to use the infrastructure, which is already installed an available: the power grid itself. The project Fast Powerline Communications (Fast PLC) intends to use the power grid not only for the transmission of power but also information. The nodes, which need to communicate with each other are all connected to the same infrastructure. The project is embedded in the Energy Campus Nuremberg (EnCN), whose goal is to do excellent research along the energy chain, by gathering researchers from different fields related to the energy turnaround for sustainability.

Major Goals

  • Fulfill requirements of the Smart Grid
    Blackstart-Capability, robustness (against noise, switching, blackout), de facto real-time capability, safety, security (of data and against manipulation), very low outage probability
  • Modelling and testing of new medium access (MAC) strategies
    As many users/nodes are expected in the grid robust and performant medium access has to be guaranteed, whilst fulfilling the requirements above
  • Developement and testing of modern Network Layer protocols
    The application of Network-Information-Theory/Network coding promises good results for the Smart Grid case.
  • Hardware-testing and Coexistence
    In cooperation with our industry partner iAd we plan to implement the research in current hardware and build a testbed (in cooperation with FAU-LTE). This test bed will help us to verify previous work as well as enable testing, especially coexistence with other powerline standards and testing in realistic noise environments.

Persons Involved

Project Members


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