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Doctorate thesis defense of Mohamed Chaker BALI

Doctorate thesis defense on Thursday January 29th, 2015 at 10h00  in Amphi 1 Sup’Com

Entitled : Robust Narrowband Power Line Communications System Design for Smart Grid

Presented by : Mohamed Chaker BALI 




Professor at ENIT, Tunisia





Mr. Ridha HAMILA

Associate Professor at University of Qatar, Qatar


Mrs.Monia TURKI

Professor at ENIT, Tunisia



Mr. Fethi TLILI

Associate Professor at Sup’Com, Tunisia


Industry guest

Mrs.Wided MAALEL

Director of technology control at STEG, Tunisia


Thesis director

Mr. Chiheb REBAI

Associate Professor, Sup’Com, Tunisia


Power companies across the world have recognized that the traditional power grid must be replaced by more efficient, flexible and intelligent energy-distribution networks, which are called smart grid (SG). As its name suggests, this concept consist of integrating intelligence into the whole power grid. The goal is to upgraded electricity network enabling two-way information and power exchange between suppliers and consumers thanks to the pervasive incorporation of intelligent communication monitoring and management systems.

Smart grid technologies allows the integration of renewable energies into the power grid, reduces the rising number of debilitating blackouts and facilitates the restoration of power grid more quickly. It will also allow consumers to manage and use energy more intelligently and encourage more electric and hybrid vehicles into the power grid. The development of smart grid technologies start basically with the deployment of automatic meter reading (AMR) system. In fact, AMR system will upgrade the traditional meter reading method into secure and automatic infrastructure between utility management systems and customer energy meters. Therefore, AMR system is essentially to improve customer services and to optimize utility energy generation and distribution through statistical analyzes of real time consumption data.

Power line communications (PLC) technology has proven to be a robust and cost optimized solution in large deployments of AMR system. As far as PLC is concerned, power suppliers focused on PLC modem design that provides an optimal fit in terms of bandwidth, power and cost requirements. However, design attention is required to make this modem capable to operate on hostile communication environments like the power line channel. It is a time-varying multi-path channel with frequency selective fading and contains colored background noise, narrow-band interference and different types of impulsive noise. In fact, the design of PLC modem must be based on robust communication scheme enhanced with reduced processing complexity.

Through this work, we proposed a PLC modem based on digital signal processor (DSP) for low cost implementation of embedded software. A suboptimal receiver structure of spread frequency shift keying (S-FSK) modulation is defined. This modulation schemes is sensitive to power line channel noises; background noise and impulse noise. The application of permutation codes in power-line communications with optimized decoding algorithm is interesting to tackle those channel noises. Therefore, a new design for a reliable PLC modem based on coding modulation is carried out providing lower bit error rate (BER) than standard IEC 61334-5-1 specifications. The implementation of this structure on a DSP architecture provides low resources consumption and, through experimental tests, a frame error rate (FER) of less than 2% is calculated that complaint with the SG application of AMR.