Arduino Based Current Sensor Circuit

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The main component used is the ACS712 sensor from Allegro MicroSystems to measure the current. It provides economical and precise solutions for AC or DC current sensing in industrial, commercial and communications systems. Located near the surface of the die of the device is a precise, low-offset, linear Hall sensor with a copper conduction path.

Arduino Based Current Sensor Circuit
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

The device is not intended for automotive applications but is typically used in motor control, switched-mode power supplies, over current fault protection, load detection and management. This project uses one of the three models of ACS712. Other models can be chosen depending on the maximum measured current (5-20-30A). From its pin configuration, the voltage across VIOUT and ground PIN is proportional to current flowing between IP+ and IP-, which makes ACS712 very easy to use. It needs two capacitors for filtering the power supply and output while requiring a power supply of 5V. For 5A model, the value that links the proportionality of output voltage and input current measurements is sensitivity which has a typical value of 185mV/A. The value is read by Arduino and is converted with a formula. The result is sent via serial connection to a personal computer. The data can be plotted to a chart using Analog Demo software and keep an updated feed. Sensor accuracy can be tested using a microcontrolled battery charger.

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