An open software tool for power and power quality sampling

An open software tool has been designed for handling the high performance and precise state-of-the-art sampling systems identified for power and power quality (PQ) measurements.

Image showing a photovoltaic panel

Coordinator: Věra Nováková Zachovalová


An open software tool has been designed for handling the high performance and precise state-of-the-art sampling systems (analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs)) identified for power and power quality (PQ) measurements. In particular the software is able to: i) identify the sampling hardware equipment, to interact with the experimental modular measurement setup, and to ensure a direct means for the simultaneous sampling of waveforms from voltage and current transducers employed in the modular measurement setup and ii) provide fast and transparent calculation of power and PQ parameters and their associated uncertainties. 

The software tool is composed of dedicated sub-routines for conducting specific tasks. One part is dedicated to measurement setups based on two triggered high resolution multimeters, configured as digitizers, e.g. sampling DMMs 3458A, with the possible extension for longer duration measurements. The second part is based on virtual reconfigurable platforms employing high precision ADCs, e.g. NI 5922 digitizers. The virtual reconfigurable platform requires specific drivers and the control and data acquisition software developed in environments such as LabVIEW and LabWindowsTM/CVI. A data processing module primarily intended for numerical computations has been developed using dedicated high-level interpreted languages i.e., Matlab and GNU Octave. 

Both parts of the system, the digitizer control and data acquisition module and the data processing module, are integrated using a special software interface so it appears to the user as one interactive application. The separation of the data processing module into the independent Matlab/GNU Octave environment from the compiled control and data acquisition modules makes the data processing transparent. Furthermore, if the algorithms are made as m-files instead of compiled within the LabVIEW or LabWindowsTM/CVI control and data acquisition module, they can be used for both parameter calculation and uncertainty calculation and they can be modified whenever needed without a need for recompiling the entire application. 

The main features of the software are:  

  • Fast identification of the hardware (e.g. NI 5922 or 3458A) and initialisation of the ADC acquiring parameters with the possibility to change them, e.g. sampling frequency, aperture time of the ADC, amplitude range and number of points, etc.; 
  • The possibility of interchanging the roles of the triggering process of master-slave ADCs especially in the setup containing two 3458A digitizers; 
  • Storage and pre-elaboration of acquired data; 
  • Data processing for estimation of the parameters for power and PQ; 
  • Uncertainty calculation (slow but accurate) or estimation based on previous uncertainty analysis (fast estimate for interactive measurements). 
  • As the frequencies of interest are rapidly increasing beyond the acoustic band and requests to further increase the measurement capabilities for power and PQ up to the MHz domain are becoming common, the software tool also provides an advanced method to communicate quickly with the experimental modular measurement setup. 

Detailed documentation for the software has been produced. 

For more information, see the project webpage >>