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Analysis of IP over power
lines in conjunction with
ADSL as a rapid network
deployment package.
David Mackie
Supervisor: Prof. P. Clayton
12 March 2003
Power Line Communication (PLC)
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“IP-over-Power”
Transmission of data across existing power circuits
Special applications in the past:
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Street lighting & Geyser control
Door-bells and baby monitors
Relatively new and not in wide use to provide
broadband networks
Up-and-coming, with Eskom showing an interest
PLC (2)
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Growing demand for bandwidth
South African Context
Second Network Operator (SNO)
“Last Mile” alternative
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Protected from free market force
“Putting little in – getting lots out”
PLC (3)
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High Voltage
Distribution network
 Power lines
 E.g. Eskom
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Low Voltage (What we are using)
Building internal power circuit
 Power sockets
 E.g. SNO
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Resources - PLC
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“Glossy” company brochures
General Information from websites
Technical data is hard to come by
NDA’s & proprietary information
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New technology
Standards
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Confusing
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different countries = different power regulations
Hampered by over-regulation of power networks
Resources – Low Level
Possible areas I might have to look into:
 Signal Processing
 Low voltage power circuits in the South African
context
 3-phase power circuits
Design Considerations
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Initial decision on supplier decided by market &
funder’s considerations
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Ascom
ADSL as the data link
Match between bandwidths
 Ease of install
 Rapid roll-out
 COE Project
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Design Considerations (cont…)
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Implementation in a Rhodes residence
Large number of users to test with
 ResNet
 Cullen Bowles (CB) has been initially chosen:
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“Lego Land”
 All cement and everything is built-in
 Difficulty in wiring
 Not on IT’s Road Map so far
 Far from campus, long walk to the labs
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Ascom
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European Company
Local Supplier already has systems running in
the country
http://www.ascom.com/plc/
Independent
Outdoor and Indoor Systems
Adapters
Master Unit
Power Circuit
DSL Line
Indoor System
Why 2 systems?
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Provides a level of separation along
“responsibility boundaries”
Utility Companies (Eskom & Telkom)
 Owner
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This Project only deals with the Internal System
Indoor System
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Consists of a couple of “plug-and-play” devices
which build on each other
Two main devices
Indoor Controller
 Indoor Adapters (terminals)
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Master-Slave principles
The Network
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Shared medium
Bandwidth currently 4.5 Mbits/s
20Mbits/s envisaged in the medium term
Point-to-Multipoint principle
Flexible bandwidth management
Packet-switched data transfer
Adapter
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Like a modem
Plug into normal power
socket
Standard interfaces
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Ethernet, USB
telephone
Controller
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Administrator
Gateway
Time-slices bandwidth
Configurable using DHCP and
SNMP
The Work.
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Initial investigation into CB’s power plant and
circuit infrastructure (done)
Design of a optimised PLC system
Order & Implement a base system for testing and
feasibility of original plan
Implement a full system
Test!
2
Order new
equipment
1
Design
5
If (still budget)
&&
!(thesis due)
3
Implement
4
Test
Expected Outcomes
A report on the feasibility of implementing a PLC network in combination
with ADSL as a rapid deployment package to buildings that do not already
have a data network infrastructure
Some of the things that will need to be investigated
 Time scale for deployment and configuration
 Costing considerations
 Limits to the number of users/adapters
 How the network handles:
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Over-usage (students)
“Dirty” power and spikes
Other PLC systems like geyser control
… and the effect on the bandwidth
Possible Extensions
As this project is going to be a “work-inprogress”, extensions can only really be looked
at later in the year.
But:
 3-phase power in CB
 Continuing Education Centre
 Link from Kimberly Kitchen
Questions?