Talk: Power Line Communications and a Tomography Application

Power Line Communications and a Tomography Application

Prof. Lutz Lampe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Power line communications (PLC) collectively refers to technologies that use existing power lines for data communications at frequencies (far) beyond the 50 Hz (or 60 Hz) mains frequency. The single main advantage of PLC over other wired communications solutions is that the wire infrastructure is already in place. This is also the reason why electric power utilities have been using PLC for many decades. However, first because of the deregulation of electricity markets in the late 1990's and now due to the advent of "Smart Grid", PLC
technology has been experiencing renewed interest and significant innovations.

In this seminar, we will provide a (super) brief primer on the topic of PLC. Then we will focus on the "through-the-grid" property of PLC, which differentiates PLC from other communication technologies. Since the PLC signals are (ideally) bound to travel through the power grid, they can also be used for inference tasks in (smart) grids. We will present an example inference application of PLC, which enables us to look insight the grid using end-to-end PLC signalling. Due to its conceptual similarity to network tomography, we refer to this method as Power Grid Tomography.

Brief CV:
Lutz Lampe is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. His research interests span a wide range of topics in wireless communications, optical wireless communications, and communications over power lines. He is co-editor of the book "Power Line Communications: Theory and Applications for Narrowband and Broadband Communications Over Power Lines" published by Wiley & Sons in 2010. He was General Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Power Line Communications (ISPLC) and General Co-Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communication in 2005 and 2013, respectively. From 2010 to 2014 he served as the Chair of the IEEE Communications Society Technical Committee on PLC. For details please visit

Date with Time
5. June 2014 - 14:00
Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 16c/EG, Seminarraum IDEG134