Measurement of 40 power system harmonics in real-time on an economical ARM® Cortex™-M3 platform

Andrew Roscoe, Tom Sklaschus, Gavin Oldroyd, Steven Macpherson Blair, Graeme Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
403 Downloads (Pure)


Within future homes and electrical power networks, emphasis is being placed on intelligent, distributed measurement devices. In particular, the recognition of individual or aggregated loads through harmonic signature has been proposed as a useful way to enhance the value of home energy monitoring/control. Clearly, the cost of implementing such measurement devices is a major barrier to acceptance. In a recent project, a challenge was set to implement real-time software on an ARM ® Cortex™ LPC1768 microcontroller platform (chip cost c. £4). The software must be capable of measuring a single-phase AC frequency, real and reactive power flows and provide a full breakdown of the voltage and current (and power) behaviour via harmonic analysis from DC to the 40th, in real-time with a new output every 20 ms. In addition, the algorithm must be capable of adapting the measurement when the frequency is not nominal (50 Hz) so that spectral leakage is minimised. It is found that the LPC1768 processor is capable of supporting such an algorithm when it is coded appropriately. This knowledge de-risks the proposed use of such cheap microcontrollers for these relatively complex tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1476
Number of pages2
JournalElectronics Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2013


  • measurement
  • 40 power system harmonics
  • real-time
  • economical
  • ARM
  • cortex
  • m3 platform
  • power system harmonics
  • reactive power
  • voltage measurement
  • power system measurement
  • computerised instrumentation
  • microcontrollers
  • power measurement
  • frequency measurement
  • electric current measurement


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