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Electromagnetic Interferences in PLC Communication Systems based on Low Voltage DC supply lines. Application to automotive environments.

Founding Body: MEC

Collaborators: UPC, SEAT, LEAR

From/To: 2007/2010

Domestic power distribution lines can be used as communications lines. This technology (PLC:Power Line Communications) has been demonstrated in practice. Recently it has been proposed to apply those concepts to low voltage DC supply lines, like those present in automotive vehicles or industrial sensor networks. The advantage of the technology it that it uses cables already present. The problems arise from the fact that DC lines do not display the characteristics of a communication line. In addition, in the case of vehicles, part of the current return path is performed through the vehicle chassis.
In a PLC system, because supply lines are used, the characteristics of emission and susceptibility will not be optimal. In addition the line impedance will not be optimal and will be time dependant because DC loads are being switched on and off. The proposed project intends to gain knowledge on the electromagnetic aspects of PLC technology; especially its application to vehicles and the main objective is to provide criteria to decide on the feasibility of this technology from this point of view. The project will be developed in three main lines: adequacy of DC lines as a transmission lines; susceptibility in front of internal or external disturbances, especially those of impulsive nature; and emissions of the whole system, both to the exterior of the vehicle and to other on-board systems, with emphasis on the time domain analysis.
Both numerical and experimental methods will be used. Measurements will be performed in models of increasing complexity, and eventually in a car body frame with a realistic cable harness incorporated, by using commercial PLC transceivers. These measurements will be performed in the near field, both in the time domain and in the frequency domain, and using instruments and techniques developed in previous projects. Numerical methods will be based on realistic discretizations of a vehicle, by using methods in the time and frequency domain, based on FDTD, FEM and also in hybrid methods.