Power Talk: Communication in a DC microgrid through modulation of the power electronics components

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A standard way to realize communication in microgrid control is to use an external communication network, such as modems for wireless or power-line communication, whose implementation may be inefficient in terms of deployment cost, complexity, and system stability. In this chapter we present a communication solution, denoted as power talk, which is solely based on the use of the existing microgrid power equipment (i.e., power electronics and buses). The pivotal idea is to modulate information in the power-related parameters of the microgrid buses by use of the flexibility of power electronic interfaces.

The focus of the chapter is on the design of power talk solutions for DC microgrids with droop control. Specifically, the chapter presents the power talk implementation through modification of the droop parameters of the primary control loop, and investigates the design of modulation schemes and detection strategies in different microgrid setups. In comparison with standard communication solutions, power talk brings several important advantages. It alleviates the need for an external communication network, as its implementation requires only software modifications in the power electronic interfaces, while its reliability and availability draw on the reliability and availability of the microgrid power transmission system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrogrid : Advanced Control Methods and Renewable Energy System Integration
EditorsMagdi Mahmoud
Number of pages30
Publication dateOct 2016
ISBN (Print)9780081017531
ISBN (Electronic)9780081012628
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • DC microgrids
  • Hierarchical control
  • Droop control
  • Power talk
  • Multiple access
  • Signaling space
  • Detection space


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