Enhancing the Performance of WiNPLC Smart Grid Communication with MIMO NB-PLC
Hybrid wireless/powerline communication has been proposed to improve reliability and performance in smart grids. In this work we focus on a hybrid wireless/narrowband PLC (WiNPLC) system for the link between smart-meter and inhome device, where multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is introduced in the narrowband powerline communication (NB-PLC) part. Our system is based on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation according to IEEE 1901.2 standard where MIMO transmission allows to enhance data rate but, at the same time, requires robust detection techniques at the receiver to recover transmitted data. The performance of a 3 × 3 MIMO NB-PLC scheme over low voltage lines is evaluated. We consider different detection approaches, which are well known in the wireless domain, and assess their performance and applicability in the NB-PLC domain. Simulation results show that, similar to wireless systems, in NB-PLC non-linear MIMO detection schemes achieve better performance compared to linear ones. Additionally, complexity analysis shows that non-linear equalizers, especially maximum likelihood, have high complexity, thus limiting their applicability in real systems.