I am trying to optimize the power usage of a custom application (C#) running on an embedded computer (Intel i7, Windows 7). To do so, I am measuring the current that the system requires while running the application.
This current fluctuates; every second I get a different reading using a regular multimeter (Fluke 175). This makes me wonder about the accuracy of the reading.
1) If I would calculate the average of these readings, would this be a good indication of the power usage? Or would I miss high frequency peaks / dips in the current?
2) Could this be solved by taking multiple measurements per second using some sort of current sensor with a microcontroller and averaging the values?
3) If so, what would be a good rate to take measurements at; 10Hz? 1000Hz?
4) Could adding an RC-filter between the current sensor and the ADC of the microcontroller help in some way?
This is my first question on StackExchange, please let me know if I'm making any mistakes.
Edit: The goal is to get a realistic power consumption estimation so we can improve and predict battery life.