Clock Synchronization Methods for Distributed Systems and Their Feasibility in a Powerline Communications Medium




Gankov, Stanislav

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Time synchronization is an important consideration for the function of distributed systems. This document will explore and compare current methods for providing precise time synchronization for such systems, including network protocols, over-the-air communications, and other mechanisms. Next, the applications and needs for synchronization in electric utilities are introduced. Since synchronization methods require a dedicated communication channel, this environment exposes the potential for using existing distribution power lines as a channel for communicating time between intelligent equipment, which could provide a primary technique, or a redundancy to schemes currently implemented. Existing technologies, hardware, and standards used for power line communications and broadband-over-powerline will be reviewed. Finally, the challenges and feasibility of using the power line as a communication medium for these applications will be evaluated with knowledge of power distribution system layouts, previous research, calculations and estimations, and collected data, to determine effects and limitations of using the power lines to transmit and receive information.


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communication, distributed, powerline, PTP, synchronization, utility



Electrical and Computer Engineering