Developement of communication protocol over AC powerline

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Dr. Györke Péter
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

During my workflow in this semester, my primary objective was the implementation of a communication protocol which uses the consumer electrical network as the channel of the communication. The advantages are the following: these devices don’t require special wiring, and they are also powered from the mains, so they are easy to install.

The aim of the current protocol is to combine the advantages of the previous protocols, costs less, but the communication must be still effective. The existing protocols which formed the basis of my work are specially designed for home automation, to manage lamp modules, alarm systems, power management switches, and other special devices.

My goal was to abstract from these ideas, and develop a protocol for more general-purpose use, especially communicating between embedded systems.

The hardwares are based on an ATmega88PA type 8-bit microcontroller, which belongs to the AVR family. One of the modules most important task was data transferring through the physical layer, and the task of the other modul was to receive and process.

Since the phase of the consumer electrical network is expressly loaded by noise caused by other connected devices, fault management, redundant coding and data transmission had an important role.

I was motivated by my previous semester’s Project Laboratory course, where I worked with X-10 communication protocol. Due to limited communication options, and the lack of fault detection and error handling made me think of developing an own protocol, which is made for more general purpose use, and uses error handling for safer data communication.


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