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Simulation and Analysis of Power

Transmission Line Model

Xiaoxia Wei Jie Liu Yan Li
Heilongjiang Power Communication Electricity Engineering College
Electricity Engineering College Automatic Co.,Ltd. Harbin Institute of Technology
Harbin Institute of Technology Heilongjiang Power Bureau. Harbin, China
Harbin, China Harbin, China


Abstract—This paper analyses the four-wire cables which is The cable under study in this paper is stranded, cooper core
necessary to the power line communication. It presents a novel with PVC insulation, and is commonly used for low voltage
approach to model the power line cables through the per-unit- distribution. The cables consist of four conductors: one neutral
length parameters. In this approach, different effect caused by conductor and three phase conductors. These are
surrounding are considered, the calculated results are compared multiconductor transmission lines. Actually only two
with the measurements performed on the power line cables. The conductors out of four would be used in low voltage (one
paper also describes the experiment results of unit transmission neutral and one phase conductor). In practical, not all the
line channel.
consumers are connected to the same phase conductor and in
Keywords- power line communication; cable; transmission
reality the short-circuits between the phase conductors should
be replaced by capacitors, which behave as short-circuits for
high frequencies.
From the electromagnetic (EM) theory, to achieve efficient
It was demonstrated that low voltage power line could be point-to-point transmission of power and information, the
used to carry high frequency communication signals. This source energy must be guided. When power lines are used to
brought about the concept of Power Line Communication transmit communication signals, they can be regarded as
(PLC). In account of PLC, building an in-house commutation transmission lines which guide the Transverse Electromagnetic
network or accessing the internet is possible. This can be done (TEM) waves. The two-wire transmission line must be a pair of
with nearly no further expenditure on infrastructure parallel conducting wires separated by a uniform distance,
installations, as the power line network already has an actually the cables are simply pulled through the conduit and
extensive coverage comparing with any other networks in the the distance between them is not uniform. Relatively the
world. The recent breakthrough of the PLC is expected to variation of this distance is small between the cables.
create new transmission channel network [1].
So we consider the cables as 2-conductor transmission lines,
However, the idea of utilizing the power distribution which is a reasonable as the results show. Two-conductor
infrastructure in order to provide high speed networking transmission lines are 2-ports, and can be represented by
services at every AC outlet inside common residential and
2 × 2 ABCD matrices. The input voltage Vin and input
commercial buildings has not been mature. The design of
reliable power line communications systems requires detailed current I in correspond with the output voltage Vout and the
knowledge of the channel characteristics, while performance
output current I out . The ABCD matrix of a transmission line is
testing and verification in various network topologies and
loading conditions requires the use of flexible and accurate completely determined by the length l , the characteristic
channel emulation. The three critical channel parameters impedance Z c and the propagation constant γ of the
namely, noise, impedance and attenuation are found to be transmission line as the equation shows [5] [6]:
highly unpredictable and variable with time, frequency and
location. ⎛ A B ⎞ ⎛ cosh(γ ⋅ l) Zc ⋅ sinh(γ ⋅ l) ⎞
The channel also exhibits time-varying behavior, thus ⎜C D⎟ = ⎜sinh(γ ⋅ l) / Z cosh(γ ⋅ l) ⎟ (1)
changing the channel loads either being connected or ⎝ ⎠ ⎝ c ⎠
disconnected from the network or having time varying In order to characterize the cables, we need to determine
behavior, thus changing the channel response. Numerous their characteristic impedance and propagation constant.
efforts have been made to measure and statistically characterize Basically, the paired power cables can be regarded as a
the time and frequency varying behavior of the power grid, distributed parameter network, where voltages and currents can
although a widely accepted channel model has not yet been vary in magnitude and phase over its length. It can be described
presented. by circuit parameters that are distributed over its length.

1-4244-0113-5/06/$20.00 2006
c IEEE. 256
i i + (∂i ∂x)dx III. LINE PARAMETERS
R0 dx L0 dx
From the transmission line analysis of the previous section,
G0 dx C0 dx it has been known that the intrinsic line parameters. A
− transmission line can be characterized by its characteristic
impedance and propagation constant or equivalently by its per-
u u + (∂u ∂x) dx
unit-length parameters, which need to be determined first.
Fig.1 two pair of parallel line
R = (1 π a) π fuc σ c (Ω m) (11)
In Fig.1 the u and u + ( ∂u ∂x ) ⋅ dx present the instantaneous
L = (u π )cosh−1(D 2a)(H m) (12)
voltages, correspond with i and i + ( ∂i ∂x ) ⋅ dx , the
G = πσ cosh−1(D 2a)(S m) (13)
instantaneous currents. R0 defines the resistance per unit length
for both conductors (Ω m) , L0 defines the inductance per unit C = (πε ) cosh−1(D 2a)(F m) (14)

length for both conductors (H m) , G0 is the conductance per a : Radius of the conductor
unit length (S m) , C0 is the capacitance per unit length (F m) . f : Wave of frequency
Applying the Kirchhoff’s voltage law and current law D : Distance between cables
respectively, the (2) and (3) can be obtained: uc : Permeability of conducting material
−i +(i +∂i ∂x) +(u +∂u ∂x)G0∂x +C0∂x∂(u +∂u ∂x)/ ∂t =0 (2) σ c : Conductivity of conducting material
ε : Permittivity of dielectric material between conductors
−u + iR0 ∂x + L0 ∂x∂i / ∂t + (u + ∂u ∂x ) = 0 (3)
u : Permeability of dielectric material between conductors
If we consider the quantity ∆x → 0 , the harmonic equation σ : Conductivity of dielectric material between conductors
∆i → 0 , ∆u → 0 ; can derive the equation from the above:
These four equations provide the primary line parameters
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ for the basic two-wired transmission line for which the core of
− d I dx = G0 U ( x) + jωC0 U ( x) = Y0 U ( x) (4) the cable is solid and there is no other conductor around it. Yet
some other factors need to be made to account for these
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ differences. It should be noted that the coupling effects
− d U dx = R0 I ( x) + jω L0 I ( x) = Z0 I ( x) (5) generated by the earth cable and the metal conduit will increase
Combine the equations, the line voltage and current in the capacitance and the conductance between the paired cables.
terms of position can be expressed in the following differential Besides variable cables with different characteristic have
equations: distinct resistance in high frequency. Hence some corrections
need to be made to account for these differences.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
2 2 2
− d I ( x ) dx = Z 0Y0 I ( x ) = γ I ( x ) (6) A. Analytical Expressions
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ The shunt and series impedance is determined by the
2 2 2
− d U ( x) dx = Z0Y0 U ( x) = γ U ( x) (7) physical construction of the cable. The construction of the four-
wire cable is shown in Fig.2. The symmetry of the cable the
diagonal-elements are all alike and equal to the self resistance,
γ = Z0Y0 = (R0 + jωL0 )(G0 + jωC0 ) = α + jβ , γ is the and self inductance [3]. The off-diagonal elements are the
propagation constant whose real and imaginary parts are the mutual resistance and inductance which can be described by
attenuation constant α ( Np m) and β ( rad m) , only two different parameters as (17) and (18).

2 2 2 2 2 2 2
α = 1 2(RG
0 0 −ω LC
0 0 +1 2 (R0 +ω L0)(G0 +ω C0 ) (8)

2 2 2 2 2 2 2
β = 1 2(ω LC 0 0) +1 2 (R0 +ω L0)(G0 +ω C0 )
0 −RG (9)

Z c = ( R0 + jω L0 ) (G0 + jω C0 ) (10)
Fig.2 the figure of power line
Z c is the characteristic impedance, which are characteristic Rs = Rg + Ri + R p (15)
properties of a transmission line whether or not the line is
infinitely long depended on R0 , L0 , G0 , C0 and ω but not the Ls = Lg + λi I (16)
length of the line.

⎛ R 11 R 12 R 13 R 14 ⎞ The boundary frequency f skin must be found by (22)
⎜ ⎟
⎜R R 22 R 23 R 24 ⎟
R = ⎜ 21 2
R 34 ⎟ f skin > [ ρ ⋅ ⎜⎜1+ 2 ⎟⎟ ] ⎛⎜⎝ 4u ⋅ An ⎞⎟⎠ ≅ 1.46 ⋅( ρ ⎛⎜⎝ u ⋅ An ⎞⎟⎠)
⎛ ⎞
R R 32 R 33 (22)
⎜ 31 ⎟
⎜R R 42 R 43 R 44 ⎟⎠
⎝ ⎠
⎝ 41 (17)
Where a = 0, f ≤ f skin
⎛ L 11 L 12 L 13 L 14 ⎞
⎜ ⎟
( )
L 21 L 22 L 23 L 24 1 2
⎜ ⎟
L = ⎜ ⎟ a = ka ( xδ ) ⋅ π ⋅ ⎡ 1 + 2 ⋅ xδ ⎤ , f > f skin (23)

L 31 L 32 L 33 L 34
⎟ 4 ⎣ ⎦
⎜ L 41 L 42 L 43 L 44 ⎟
⎝ ⎠ (18) The internal flux for circular conductors is found by the
Rs : Self resistance integral, I x is the fraction of the total current from the centre to
Ls : Self inductance the radius x considering of the skin effect.
Rg : Ground resistance r
λi = ∫ ⎡⎣( u ⋅ I ) (2 ⋅ π ⋅ x)⎤⎦ ⋅ I x ⋅ dx
f > fskin (24)
Ri : Internal resistance 0

R p : Proximity effect resistance

D. Proximity Effect
λi : Internal flux
When affected by a time varying magnetic field of equal
Lg : Inductance due to influence of non-ideal ground field strength,

Pj = Gr ⋅ ⎣⎡π (128 ⋅ ρ )⎦⎤ ⋅ l ⋅ ω ⋅ d ⋅ B j = k p ⋅ B j

All these parameters are influence of the non-ideal, skin- 2 4 2 2
and proximity effect.

B. Non-ideal Ground Gr is a proximity effect factor modeled by

Because of the cable materials having a relative
Gr = abs{3.17 ⎣⎡3.17 + j ⋅ ( d δ )⎦⎤ }
3 3
permeability of one making the cable with ground a (26)
homogeneous system in relation to the magnetic field
distribution is permissible. Its influence of non-ideal ground is Rp = k p ⋅3⎛⎜⎝ Ch ⋅kd ⎞⎟⎠ (27)
found on the basis of the expressions for circular conductors
above ground. kd =u⋅[1⎛⎜⎝ 2⋅π⎞⎟⎠]⋅⎛⎜⎝1Ch⎞⎟⎠⋅ln[⎛⎜⎝ xd +2⋅Iw+Ag+Ch⎞⎟⎠ ⎛⎜⎝ xd +2⋅Iw+Ag ⎞⎟⎠] (28)
Z g = Rg + jωLg = jω ⋅ (u 2π ) ⋅ ((2h + 2de ) r ) (19)
Ag ≈ 0.30⋅⎛⎜⎝ 0.87⋅rs + 2⋅ I w ⎞⎟⎠ (29)
d e = ρ jω ⋅ u (20)
rs = 4 ⋅ An π (30)
h : Height above ground, in meters
λ : Ground conductivity rs : The radius of the quarter circle giving the nominal
ω : Frequency in radians per second conductor area

u : Permeability of ground I w : Insulation width

ρ : Specific resistance of ground, SI
Ag : The air gap of the cable
r : Radius of equivalent circular conductor
Ch : Diameter of two conductors
C. Skin Effect
An : Nominal conductor area given by manufacturer
With increasing frequency, f the current density at the
conductor centre decreases due to skin effect.
δ = ρ (π ⋅ f ⋅ u ) (21) The paired cables are not exposed in free space but are
exposed in free space but are laid inside metal conduit.
ρ : Specific resistance of conductor
Moreover, because of the presence of the earth cable in the
u : Permeability of conductor conduit, the coupling effects from both the conduit and the
earth cable cannot be ignored. There coupling effects are
f : Frequency in Hertz considered as equivalent capacitances as shown in Fig.3
C1 and C2 is the cable to cable capacitance per unit length,

which can be represented by the capacitance given in(32),
C3 and C4 are the cable to conduit capacitance per unit length.
Because the conduit cylinder and the cable cylinder are not
concentric to each other, it is difficult to determine
C3 and C4 are approximated by taking one half of the
capacitance between two paralleled concentric cylinders of
Fig.5 equivalent circuit
one-meter length, as shown in Fig.4. C AS is the equivalent
So the equal circuit is expressed by Fig.5. And also can get
capacitance relative to the other cables and conduits[4].
the equivalent capacitance:

C3 C3
CAE =C2 +C3 +C4 +(2CC
1 2 +2CC
1 3
2 3) (C1 +C2 +C3) (35)
Yet the conductance has the same correction factor as the
C1 C2
capacitance. The conductance thus is

G AE C AE = G2 C2 (36)

Where the G2 can be obtained from (13).

Fig.3 the equivalent circuit ofthe power line inductance

⎡ C AS − C1 − C2 − C1 ⎤ V. SIMULATION
⎢− C C BS − C2 − C 1 ⎥⎥ Through the inference above, we can get the simulation
C = ⎢ 1
result which the frequency is 100 kHz—19MHz as can be seen
⎢− C 2 − C1 C CS − C1 ⎥
⎢ ⎥ from the Fig.5 and Fig.6.
⎣ − C1 − C2 − C1 C ES ⎦
C AS = C3 + C1 + C1 + C2 (32)

Fig.5 simulation of the 65mile lines without load

Fig.4 the equivalent circuit of the power line in the jacket

If a and b are the inner and outer radiuses of the concentric

cylinders, according to the cylindrical capacitance approach,
where ε 0 in the equation is the permittivity of dielectric
material between the cable conductor and the metal conduit.
C3 = πε 0 ln(b a ) (33)

C4 = πε 0 ln( d c ) (34)
Fig.6 simulation of the 65mile lines with load
From Fig.4, the high frequency communication signals
are not only coupled by C1 and C2 between paired cables, but VI. EXPERIMENT AND MEASUREMENT
they are also coupled from the live cable to the earth cable first Presently, the focus on the public low voltage power
and then coupled from earth cable to the neutral cable. They distribution network begins at cabinet and ends at the entrance
can also be coupled from live cable to metal conduit and then of the buildings. So it lies between the MV power distribution
from conduit to the neutral cable. There can be more complex network and the private indoor LV power distribution network.
couplings because of the presence of the conduit and the earth 2 2
It consists of a 4 × 16 mm or 4 × 25mm aluminium core
cable. 2
distribution cable, while connected to the users via 25mm or
10mm copper core connection cables.

Fig.9 experiment result of the 65 mile lines without load

(a) sending signal (b) receiving signal

Fig.7 experiment schematic of the 65 mile lines Fig.10 experiment signal of the 65 mile lines with load
Using the signal generator and displayer to implement the
data measurement, the schematic of the measurement is shown
in Fig. 7. The generate frequency is 100kHz—19MHz. The
signal generator and displayer are connected to the power net
through the isolators, and can not affect the total equipment.
The whole measure system is not connecting to the power
net, and the sending signal and the receiving signal are both
sinusoidal, which the sending signal amplitude is to 6.04V, and
the receiving signal amplitude is to 4.88V, as have been shown
in Fig. 8.
Through the comparison, we can know that from the 5MHz,
the signal attenuation is very large, and to the power line
Fig.11 experiment result of the 65 mile lines with load
communication, their working frequency can not be too large,
if the frequency is too high, the signal attenuation will be too
great, so in common the power line communication frequency VII. CONCLUSIONS
can not over 500 kHz, which is shown in Fig.9. The parameters for the four-wire cable have been found
When this system is connected to the power net which analytically including the effect of non-ideal ground
sending and receiving signal are both sinusoidal, the sending conductivity as well as the influence of skin effect and
signal amplitude is to 2.84V, and the receiving signal proximity effect. Though the lab experiment, we can test the 65
amplitude is to 640mV, as have been shown in Fig.10. The Fig. mile power unit line of power distribution net.
11 is about the sending and receiving signal which frequency is
from 100 kHz—19MHz with load. ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Thanks for the collaborators at Lab: Xizhong Wang,
Xiaosheng Liu, Tingku Wei.

[1] Tom Bostoen and Olivier Van de Wiel, “Modeling the Low-Voltage
Power Distribution Network in the Frequency Band from 0. 5 to 30MHz
for Broad and Power line Communications, ” 2000:171~178
[2] PhD. stud. Martin Hogdahl Jensen and Associate Prof. Virgitte Bak-
Jensen, Aalborg University, Department of Energy Technology, Series
(a) sending signal (b) receiving signal
Impedance of the Four-Wire Distribution Cable with Sector-shaped
Fig.8 experiment signal of the 65 mile lines without load Conductors, Paper accepted for presentation at PPT2001 IEEE Porto
Power Tech Conference 10th—13thSeptember, Porto, Portuga
[3] Martin Hogdahl Jensen and Birgitte Bak-Jensen, “Department of Energy
Technology Aalborg University. Shunt Admittance of the Four-wire
Distribution Cable with Sector-shaped Conductors”
[4] Dickinson, John, J. Nicholson, Peter, “Calculating the High Frequency
Transmission Line Parameters of Power Cables,” ISPCLA ESSEN, 1997,
[5] Guanyuan Qiu, Electric circuit, Prime Education, 1997:168~174
[6] Congyuan Chen, Qiurong Yan, “Electric circuit theory-Port network and
transmission line, Huazhong Technology University,” 1997:81~10