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Security and energy are two main concerns for embedded systems, especially in battery-powered security-critical systems. In this paper, we make efforts to identify energy-related characteristics of common security algorithms for data-sensitive embedded real-time systems. Different to traditional researches, this paper focuses on the influences of size of protected data on energy-related factors. We present a multi-dimensional analysis framework that reveals potential features of energy consumption from the angles of power, speed, and unit energy cost. The energy features of most popular cryptographic algorithms including symmetric, asymmetric, and hash algorithms are well studied. In addition, some mathematical models are also built to help explain and investigate these features. All the analysis is based on empirical data measured from an ARM9 embedded platform which runs security-critical tasks under μC/OSII. We believe this paper could provide some useful information to help the design of security-critical applications in embedded real-time systems.