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Sensors 2013, 13(6), 8042-8059; doi:10.3390/s130608042
Article

Extending the GMR Current Measurement Range with a Counteracting Magnetic Field

1,* , 1
 and
2
Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 21 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Traditionally, current transformers are often used for current measurement in low voltage (LV) electrical networks. They have a large physical size and are not designed for use with power electronic circuits. Semiconductor-based current sensing devices such as the Hall sensor and Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) sensor are advantageous in terms of small size, high sensitivity, wide frequency range, low power consumption, and relatively low cost. Nevertheless, the operational characteristics of these devices limit their current measurement range. In this paper, a design based on using counteracting magnetic field is introduced for extending the GMR current measurement range from 9 A (unipolar) to ±45 A. A prototype has been implemented to verify the design and the linear operation of the circuit is demonstrated by experimental results. A microcontroller unit (MCU) is used to provide an automatic scaling function to optimize the performance of the proposed current sensor.
Keywords: giant magnetoresistance; current sensor; linearization; physical sensor; magnetic field sensor; Helmholtz coil giant magnetoresistance; current sensor; linearization; physical sensor; magnetic field sensor; Helmholtz coil
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Poon, T.Y.; Tse, N.C.F.; Lau, R.W.H. Extending the GMR Current Measurement Range with a Counteracting Magnetic Field. Sensors 2013, 13, 8042-8059.

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