Integrating Current Sensors into Existing Systems

Different current sensors, when integrated into a measurement system, produce different outputs. As such, extreme caution must be taken when doing so, because installing the wrong sensor to your equipment or attaching a sensor the wrong way can lead to irreparable damage, not only to the sensor, but to the whole system as well. Likewise, using the incorrect sensor presents a huge safety risk to personnel.

Current transformers from power monitoring device suppliers generally come in two output configurations: voltage output and current output. Voltage output sensors yield voltage signals relative to the current on the primary transformer, and are generally rated in volts per ampere of primary current. These typically contain an internal precise burden resistor that measures the secondary current as a voltage. Meanwhile, current output sensors, which releases output directly to a voltage, can be attached to most standard equipment provided that the expected voltage complies with the equipment’s ratings.

Both sensors yield low energy signals that can be safely connected and disconnected without damaging the device. Since the signals are low-energy, however, they can suffer from interference and signal degradation. This makes them unsuitable for use when connections must be done between the sensor and the measuring equipment and there is a great distance between the two. Thus, to enhance device efficiency, proximity must be considered.

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