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Sensors 2012, 12(11), 15520-15541; doi:10.3390/s121115520

A Current Sensor Based on the Giant Magnetoresistance Effect: Design and Potential Smart Grid Applications

1,* , 1
1 State Key Lab of Power Systems, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China 2 Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 30 October 2012 / Published: 9 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)


Advanced sensing and measurement techniques are key technologies to realize a smart grid. The giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect has revolutionized the fields of data storage and magnetic measurement. In this work, a design of a GMR current sensor based on a commercial analog GMR chip for applications in a smart grid is presented and discussed. Static, dynamic and thermal properties of the sensor were characterized. The characterizations showed that in the operation range from 0 to ±5 A, the sensor had a sensitivity of 28 mV·A−1, linearity of 99.97%, maximum deviation of 2.717%, frequency response of −1.5 dB at 10 kHz current measurement, and maximum change of the amplitude response of 0.0335%·°C−1 with thermal compensation. In the distributed real-time measurement and monitoring of a smart grid system, the GMR current sensor shows excellent performance and is cost effective, making it suitable for applications such as steady-state and transient-state monitoring. With the advantages of having a high sensitivity, high linearity, small volume, low cost, and simple structure, the GMR current sensor is promising for the measurement and monitoring of smart grids.
Keywords: current sensing; giant magnetoresistance; sensor design; smart grid current sensing; giant magnetoresistance; sensor design; smart grid
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ouyang, Y.; He, J.; Hu, J.; Wang, S.X. A Current Sensor Based on the Giant Magnetoresistance Effect: Design and Potential Smart Grid Applications. Sensors 2012, 12, 15520-15541.

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