Energy Monitoring

Energy Monitoring

Analog Devices is a pioneer in electronic energy metering through our early introduction of energy metrology components. Increasingly, the use of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems has intensified the requirements for efficient meter communications systems, and once again ADI technology is at the forefront. ADI supports all types of metering systems with a wide range of solutions including metrology, isolation, power management, and communication products. Use the links below for help on system considerations, product selection, and other resources or use the Select A Solution tool below to browse interactive system block diagrams and product recommendations.

System Considerations   |   Product Selection Tables    |   Learning Resources


Select a function at the top, move your mouse over the menus below, then click within the diagrams to access part recommendations and product pages.

Isolated CAN with View All isoPower Digital Isolators®

Part Number Insulation Rating
ADM3053 2.5 kV rms

Isolated CAN

Part Number Insulation Rating
ADM3052 5 kV rms

Power Isolation

Part Number Insulation Rating
ADuM5000 2.5 kV rms
ADuM6000 5 kV rms


System Considerations

  • System Challenges
    Developers of meters used to monitor energy consumption in datacenters oftentimes face a number of challenging design objectives. First, the energy measurement implementation must be compatible with the appropriate industry metrics that are important to end-customers such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) or Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE). Parameters of interest normally include active power, active energy, Irms, Vrms and power factor. Although requirements can vary, enterprise applications generally do not require the same level of accuracy or dynamic range as billing-grade meters. For example, one industry white paper suggests that active energy accuracy of +/-2% is sufficient. Many IT managers and datacenter facility managers are new to energy consumption management so ease-of-use and ease-of-installation are important design goals.

    When developing an energy measurement product, there are numerous factors that need to be considered and inevitably the designer must make some tradeoffs. One important factor is cost - both from the standpoint of product bill-of-material cost and also R&D development cost. Some architectures are very low cost from a product and development standpoint but compromise along other important dimensions. Flexibility and scalability are also important concerns. Oftentimes the number of current and voltage channels that need to be measured can vary depending upon the overall size, design and growth plans for the target datacenter.

  • System Architectures
    Another important item to address is system architecture and whether metrology functions are largely implemented in dedicated hardware or in a general purpose DSP or MCU. A high-performance, flexible architecture may consist of a two-chip solution that includes an A/D converter and a separate DSP or MCU. With this type of architecture, the designer must invest significant time programming all of the metrology functions in the external processor. A different approach still uses two chips but employs an analog front end and an external MCU. The AFE is a combination of A/D converters and a dedicated hardware metrology block. In this case, the designer can usually select a smaller, less expensive processor and concentrate on managing the AFE and the external interfaces as the AFE manufacturer guarantees that all the energy metering quantities are computed within the right specifications. A third type of meter architecture is essentially a system-on-chip where all of the conversion, metrology computations and control are implemented in a single device. This approach can yield a very low cost design however it comes at the expense of less flexibility.

    Enterprise energy measurement products generally use contactless current sensors rather than shunts because the latter can cause power losses as well as installation and safety issues. Two common sensor approaches are solid and split-core transducers. A solid core sensor is less generally less expensive, more accurate and a good choice for a new installation. Split core sensors are designed for the ability to be retrofitted into a live installation without disturbance.

    In the last several years, the datacenter energy management market has evolved in some significant ways. For example, some of the initial solutions simply measured active energy at the UPS and only provided an aggregate view of server activity. In order to take full advantage of cost-saving opportunities, the industry is now recommending energy measurement at either the power distribution unit (PDU) level or the compute resource endpoint. So solutions that provide more granularity have become increasingly important. Also many of the products today support higher resolution. That is, communicating all of the physical measurements to a central repository on a more frequent basis for faster analysis and more timely action.

Product Selection Tables

Learning Resources

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