Scattering Parameters Based Channel Characterization and Modeling for Underground Medium Voltage Power Line Communications

R. Aquilué, M. Ribó, J.R. Regué, J.L. Pijoan, G. Sánchez
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Power-line communications (PLC) technologies rely on the power grid for data transmission. Since the communications channel is already deployed, this communication alternative is specially interesting for the power grid owner (i.e., the electrical utility). The medium-voltage (MV) distribution network, located after the last step-down electrical substation with typical levels from 6 to 25 kV, directly feeds large consumers and small ones through several transform stations. The growing interest on MV-PLC technology, the natural aggregation point for data coming and going into the low-voltage (LV) network, faces the same issue that the LV-PLC technology did (and does): standardization. In this way, a properly implemented channel model will allow the design of suitable modulation and access methods. This paper proposes a deterministic channel model for the MV underground network transfer function, based on a complete set of measurements performed in an MV urban ring. Moreover, the characterization of the MV-PLC channel elements as well as the noise scenario and access impedance have been carried out.