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Power Line Carrier PLC

PLC is a technique by which low frequency radio currents are propagated over the
metallic transmission line conductors. One of the first applications was in New York
City at the beginning of the 20th century where a 500 Hz signal was used to control
the streetlights. Today 30 to 300 kHz signals are used for either communications or
protective relaying.

A basic power line carrier system consist of three distinct parts:

1. The terminal assembly consisting of the Transmitter-Receiver and protective
2. The coupling and tuning equipment which provides a means of connecting
the terminal to the power transmission line
3. The transmission line which provides a suitable path for the transmission of
high-frequency carrier energy between terminals


Phase Comparison compares the phase angle of the currents at each end of
the line over the carrier channel. If the two currents are nearly in phase, as
they would be for normal load or for external fault conditions, tripping is
blocked. On internal line faults these currents are nearly 180 degrees out of
phase and therefore circuit breaker tripping is initiated.
Transfer Tripping a carrier channel is used to transmit a trip signal from the
relays at one substation to the relaying scheme at the remote end. There are three
basic types Permissive Overreaching Transfer Trip (POTT), Direct Underreaching
Transfer Trip (DUTT), and Permissive Underreaching Transfer Trip (PUTT). It is also
used for Direct Transfer Trip (DTT) where the remote circuit breaker of a
transmission line that terminates in a power transformer with no circuit breaker
between the transformer and the line, or to trip the remote breaker for a failure to
trip operation of the local breaker.

Directional Comparison - The directional comparison type of relaying

equipment uses directional distance relays to start the
transmission of a carrier signal to block tripping at both line
terminals during external faults. On an internal line fault, other
elements of the directional distance relays stop the transmission of
the carrier signal, permitting both line terminals to trip

Breaker Bs Reverse Relay Element starts carrier or keys carrier on External faults to
Breaker A to Block tripping.
The Forward Relay Element on both Breaker A and B Stops carrier for Internal faults
and allows Breakers A and B to trip.

Line Traps Standard Material Descriptions

138 kV air core line trap, 2000 amperes, 0.265 mH, horizontal mounting on two
550 kV, 5 inch bolt circle insulators, centerline to centerline insulator spacing of 571/4 inches, aluminum conductor, with bird barriers, ANSI 70 gray, Adjustable single
frequency tuning 70 200 kHZ range at 400 ohms Zo. Factory tuned at 160 kHZ.

Alstom Line Traps

Trench Line Traps

Line traps are connected in series with high voltage transmission lines.
The main function of the Line Trap is to present a high impedance at the carrier
frequency bank while introducing negligible impedance at the power frequency.

The high impedance limits the attenuation of the carrier signal within the power
system by preventing the carrier signal from being dissipated in the substation,
grounded in the event of a fault outside the carrier transmission path and dissipated
in a tap line or a branch of the main transmission path.
Line Traps on Taps, whether a distribution substation (ModSub) or customer
substation, are usually suspension mounted in the transmission line on the phase
having the carrier signal. T-Line design usually orders these (may ask us to provide
technical information).
Issues with Line Traps
1. Weight When an existing line trap is replaced, usually it is replaced to
increase its ampacity. Increase in ampacity increases the weight. The way
the line trap is mounted is very critical. The steel support stand and
foundations need to be investigated as to whether they can handle the
increase in weight and loading.
2. Terminal arrangement the conductors going to the line trap terminals
cannot be close to the trap or heating will occur. See above Trench trap with
bus bar from bottom to insulator spacer.
3. Mounting How the trap is mounted with dimensions, especially on
horizontally mounted ones.

Capacitor voltage transformer for 138 kV, 60 Hz service, 0.3MWXYZ accuracy

class, 650 kV BIL, with 69/115 V secondary rating for both main and auxiliary
windings. The capacitor transformer is to be furnished with standard carrier
accessories, and one lead-in bushing for the carrier cable. Units shall be
manufactured and tested in accordance with ANSI Specification No. C93.1 and
C93.2, latest revision. Porcelain housing color is to be ANSI #70 Lt. Gray. To include
3 year warranty. ID No. 99995363
Alstom Catalog No. OTCF145SM or Trench type TEMF
NOTE: There are CVTs for 69kV, 115kV, 138kV, 230kV, 345kV, 500kV,

Carrier current lead-in cable, 1/c No. 8, 7 strand class B copper conductor, 5 kV
insulation, nonshielded, 125 mils EPR insulation, 80 mil CPE jacket, extruded strand
shield, 90 degree C, UV resistant, for wet or dry conditions.
ID No.
General Electric Cat. No. SI-58065
Okoguard Okolon TS-CPE 5 kV Airport Lighting Cable Cat. No. 114-24-2213
General Cable DuraSheath Cat. No. 14901.410805
Since this cable is at the high impedance point of the tuned circuit formed by the
CVT and the Line Tuner, stray capacitance to ground and leakage current affect the
overall circuit performance. Stray capacitance causes a loss in bandwidth and the
leakage resistance results in loss of carrier power. To minimize these issues, the
cable leaves the CVT terminal box and enters the Line Tuning Cabinet through
Carrier Bushings and is supported on insulators. The cable run should be as direct
and on as few insulators as possible. This should never be COAXIAL Cable!

Line to ground coupled tuning unit for single-frequency, tuned to ? kHZ, power
line carrier, nominal 300 ohm transmission line impedance, complete with eight unit
size outdoor cabinet. ID No. 99901583
Trench Model No. 4CL02B2G1NL


Alstom Cat. No. 45011111

1. The Line Protector has a drain coil that effectively ground the lead-in circuit at
60 HZ while maintaining a high impedance to ground at the carrier frequency.
It also has a protective gap and grounding switch.
2. The inductor matches Capacitance value of the CVT, line impedance, and the
frequency range.
3. The impedance matching transformer is used to match the impedance of an
unbalanced coaxial cable with the line impedance of the power line. Cable
impedances of 50, 75, 100, 125, or 150 ohms. The impedance of the power
line is in the range of 175 to 400 ohms. Normal quotes state a 300 ohm

impedance of the transmission line. (TPP can provide an exact t-line


Line Tuners for Two Frequencies

Line to ground coupled tuning unit for dual-frequency, tuned to ? kHZ and ?
kHZ, power line carrier, nominal 300 ohm transmission line impedance, complete
with eight unit size outdoor cabinet with two coaxial cables. ID No. 99996943
Trench Model No. 4CL02B2G2NL or

Alstom Cat. No. 45021111

Coax cable, 50 ohm, black polyethylene jacket with water blocking material within
braid to protect from moisture ingress, 10 AWG solid conductor, copper coated
aluminum, 0.405 outside diameter, foam polyethylene dielectric, aluminum tape
shield with tinned copper braid.
ID No. 99996394
Times Microwave Systems, Part No. LMR-400-DB

Power Line Carrier Sets

RFL 9785 programmable On/Off Power Line Carrier equipment, programmable
over the range of 30 to 535kHz, 10 watt, carrier current relaying transmitterreceiver assemblies complete with keying unit, keying unit checkback module and
single power supply at 125V DC .To be tuned to ? kHz. RFL Cat. No.
Ametek (Pulsar) UPLC Universal Power Line Carrier transceiver, 125 VDC,
auxiliary power supply for 20/200 mA output, standard outputs with trip duty
contacts, DNP compliant with RS-232 and 10/100Base T front Ethernet port, single
transceiver testing facilities with carrier checkback option, without voice capability.
Ametek Cat. No. US2NEM9AFSX. ID No. 99903853
FSK or Frequency Shift Keying is used in Transfer Trip relaying. The carrier signal is
on or is constantly being sent at a given frequency. This frequency is usually
called the Guard frequency. If a Trip is required to be sent, then this frequency is
shifted to a new frequency. ON/OFF keying is used in DCB relaying. Ameteks
UPLC set can be programmed either method.

PLC Hybrids
A Carrier hybrid is basically a balanced bridge arrangement used to minimize
intermodulation when two or more carrier sets are coupled to a line through
common coupling. Use of the hybrid permits two or more sets to operate at
frequencies separated by less than would otherwise be possible.
Reactance, Resistance and Skewed Hybrids

The reactance hybrid is for connection directly into the 50-70 ohm coaxial cable
which feeds the line tuning assembly. The reactance hybrid is always selected as
the first hybrid in a hybrid chain because it provides better balanced 50-ohm
outputs. It is used where only one hybrid is required.
The resistance hybrid is never used alone, but always in conjunction with reactance
hybrids or other resistance units.
The skewed hybrid is used to isolate a transmitter and a receiver. Normally, TPP
obtains hybrid information from RFL or Ametek on a particular installation.

NOTE: All of the above Equipment Item Descriptions are from the Standard Material Database Program
RJB 9/11/2015