Digitization Impact on Power Management System

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Power Management System

The global market for Power Management System is projected to reach US$5.7 billion by 2025, driven by digitalization, electronification and electrification trends sweeping through industries ranging from automotive, maritime transport, oil & gas, mining, heavy engineering to process manufacturing. In sync with digital maturity, electrification and digitalization of everything (DOE) is hitting a peak. On the back of this digital transformation comes the critical need for power management to ensure optimum utilization of power by electrical and electronic systems. With automation, robotics and IoT connectivity proliferating in smart factories around the world, there is a critical need to ensure robustness of electrical systems. Power management systems, in this regard, help improve reliability of electrical distribution and optimize consumption. Plant assets involving hydraulics, electric motors, electrical generators, turbines, and electrical heavy machinery need a mechanism for monitoring power consumption and usage by these myriad equipment.

What’s Driving Power Management?

The design of modern Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and Systems on a Chip (SoCs) in advanced process nodes can be differentiated by the on-die integration of analog functions, such as power management. Vidatronic offers this white paper to give some historical background on this trend and delve specifically into the integration of power management. Vidatronic IP solutions and the benefits they bring to ASIC and SoC designers are discussed.

There’s a growing expectation that power will always be on so our businesses and homes can remain connected and operational. Yet, we continue to face more severe storms, an aging infrastructure, increasingly complex electrical distribution systems, and a more distributed energy network. Each of these factors increase the risk of grid instability and power disruptions. That’s why there’s an urgent need for more IoT-enabled sensors, electrical meters, smart breakers, and other intelligent equipment to monitor electrical conditions 24/7. Power management systems must be capable of turning all the resulting ‘big data’ into actionable insights that help facility personnel respond effectively to potential risks.

Data is the Key

You need a dedicated power management system that can upload and process all data types – ranging from simple measurements to captured waveforms, time-stamped events, and complex diagnostic and analytic information – from meters, smart circuit breakers, and other equipment. Building management systems, process automation, and SCADA systems are not designed to collect and interpret this type of data. Your power management system should also be designed to work with complex electrical distribution systems that may include renewable and backup energy sources, energy storage, electric vehicle charging stations, and power quality mitigation equipment. It should also be compatible with all kinds of wired, wireless, and IoT-enabled communication networks, and be scalable to allow for thousands of connected devices as a facility or campus grows.

Facility operations and maintenance personnel need to stay informed and act quickly when an issue arises. A hybrid power management platform that includes site-based and cloud-based applications offers efficient and reliable data acquisition and processing, while providing local and mobile access to data and advanced analytics.

, the power management system you choose should be ‘user goal-oriented’, with the required devices, communications, and analytic tools to specifically address key applications. This can include everything from electrical network and power source management, to power quality and power events root cause analysis, backup power testing, and thermal monitoring. On the energy side, it should support utility bill verification and energy performance analysis.

Finally, the system should be adaptable, with an architecture flexible enough to accommodate new applications, integrate new device types, and interoperate with new systems.

Design Considerations

While applications processors have been the panacea for SoC solutions, the low-power design consideration rating is now measured in milliwatts per Megahertz (mW/MHz) performance. Some of these applications processors may have a minimum 0.08 mW/MHz ratio up to 0.42 mW/MHz. To support additional power-saving features, it may include integrated smart LCD displays which have internal memory for buffering the image and an independent controller that saves CPU cycles from refreshing the image on display. Other methods are made via a 0.13 micron fab process, thus reducing power to the internal I/O and core voltages as well as providing current leakage control. Other techniques include lowering the CPU duty cycle and frequency via power management software. One example of using these techniques is Intel’s ARM®-based, PXA27x XScale® processor architecture that directly scales back both voltage and operating frequency “on the fly” via intelligent switching to various low-power modes while still maintaining necessary application performance. With its six operating modes (normal, idle, deep idle, standby, sleep, and deep sleep), the PXA27x provides greater power savings. By implementing separate power domains which can be switched on and off independently, the PXA27x architecture requires up to 10 separate power domains. By scaling down the processor input core voltages and operating frequency, the processor could provide as much as a two-fold decrease in power drain.

IoT and Power Management

Pressure to provide functionality, coupled with the availability of advanced power-system methodologies, drives the migration of digital power management to macro systems. A device that can communicate with its wall charger will operate more efficiently than one that cannot; when that wall charger can communicate with the smart-house management system (or at least a smart power meter), the result is not only improved efficiency, but improved functionality and safety as well. This integration provides functionality not only for the user but also for the infrastructure, as it makes the device apart of the Internet of Things and all that it implies.

This ability of the infrastructure to be self-managing at the power level may be intrusive at some levels to some users, but the benefits are myriad. For example, if the power to homes located in hurricane-, tornado-, and flood-evacuation areas could be turned off at the subgrid level, secondary fires would be minimized, and dangers to first responders due to electrocution and water-based secondary electrical damage would be eliminated. The ability to turn off unused (by power signature or device self-reporting) devices in the grid would minimize brownouts and blackouts by reducing “vampire” standby drain.

The advance of cloud-supported, Web-based products increases the need for improved power and signal interdevice communication. As your smartphone takes on more of the role of a personal server, it will be called on to control and manage everything from your belt-mounted artificial pan creasto the speed of your pacemaker while still operating the remote-controlled car you drive around your desktop. Such systems function best when battery states and other operating parameters are part of system management and are accessible through the Web. Your doctor can monitor your medical-device performance, and even in the case of your toy, upgrades to the software and system troubleshooting data canbe downloaded to the device. What this means for you as a designer is that you increasingly will be called upon to ensure your designs function in a larger system infrastructure, and the higher you are able to have your device function in that device architecture, the more you will be able to address the expanded requirements of the Internet of Things. As system architectures and market demands increase the need to exchange data more actively between devices, having the power system participate in the conversation will pay large dividends across the market, from the individual chipsinside the device to the power station down the road.

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