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Power Meter Reference Design Showcases Energy Management IC

Debuting as a team, the 3-phase energy-meter reference design and MCP3909 energy measurement IC forecast faster development times for power-meter applications. The chip (see figure) integrates 16-bit delta-sigma a/d converters that are accessible through its SPI, while simultaneously providing a pulse output with a frequency proportional to the active-power calculation. It specifies a typical measurement error of 0.1%, dynamic range of 1,000:1, and a power consumption of 4 mA. The reference design includes three MCP3909 chips, plus the PIC18F2520 and PIC18F4550 microcontrollers. The PIC18F2520 performs all power calculations, while the PIC18F4550 provides a USB interface. A software package that comes with the design enables meter calibration and the ability to read active/apparent power, RMS current, and RMS voltage. Price for the reference design (Part # MCP3909RD-3PH1) is $175. Price for the MCP3909 is $1.51 each/10,000.

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Key Components

  1. Three MCP3909 ICs (see figure)
  2. PIC18F2520 MCU
  3. PIC18F4550 MCU
  4. Software for meter calibration and the ability to read active and apparent power, as well as RMS current and RMS voltage.

For additional resources, visit Microchip's online Utility Meter Design Center ( This comprehensive site provides engineers with all of the technical tools and resources needed to create accurate, reliable and low-cost utility metering applications, including energy, water, gas and heat meters.


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TAGS: Microchip
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