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OFDM modulation techniques for domestic power line communication
Wicomb, Lindsay Paul
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With the growth of the personal computer industry, a number of households now contain two or more personal computers. The need to share resources such as printers, scanners and other PC peripherals has become evident. Communication between personal computers and other smart devices in the home is also required. This brings the emergence of home networking together with home automation. Home networking is the collection of elements to enable the connection and integration of multiple computing, control and communication devices. There are various options at this stage for home networking. One of the broadband options is indoor power line communication. The aim of the project was to evaluate a communication system capable of performing efficiently in South African Home Power line environment. In designing a communication system capable of performing in the harsh conditions which are presented in the home environment (noise, attenuation, phase distortion, etc.), a mathematical model that is representative of a typical suburban South African home power line is required. To aid the modeling process, an experimental network was constructed so measurements could be taken in a controlled environment. In conjunction with simulation, the model of the home power line network has aided the design of the data communication system. The project has involved: • Determining optimal specifications for the communication system. • Development of a home power line model representative of a typical South African suburban home environment. • Construction and measurement of an experimental power grid • Development of methods, algorithms and programs for the design of an OFDM PLC modem (in software) to optimal specifications. • Simulation development in MA1LAB of the OFDM Modem. • Comparison of different OFDM sub-modulation schemes for enhancing the communication system performance, In conclusion, the simulation model of the PLC modem correlates well with typical practical systems. Optimising throughput of the communication system and hardware development of the modem will form the basis for further research.