Uninterrupted Wireless Data Transfer for Smart Grids in the Presence of High Power Transients

Atef Abdrabou, A. M. Gaouda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the effect of electromagnetic interference radiated by some power system components in the presence of high-power transients (HPTs) on wireless communications. We propose an analytical method to estimate the maximum interference power, which is radiated when a power system component such as a transformer is subject to HPTs. Our method relies on mathematically modeling an envelope for the strongest HPT signal, which usually appears just before power component failure when the component is subject to a high-power impulse. By the aid of the proposed model, we found that WiFi-5 GHz (IEEE 802.11a) provides better HPT interference immunity than both ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4) and WiFi-2.4 GHz (IEEE 802.11g), which makes it a more suitable candidate for real-time applications of smart grids. Furthermore, the proposed method offers a tool to place wireless transceivers inside power substations in optimal locations where the wireless data transfer of real-time applications does not suffer abnormal packet loss or retransmission delays during the occurrence of HPT interference. Experimental results validate our mathematical model and show that our analytical method is effective in estimating the status of a wireless link under the effect of HPT interference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Systems Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Electromagnetic interference
  • WiFi
  • ZigBee
  • high-power transients (HPTs)
  • wireless transceiver placement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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