There are a number of different types of current transformers available on the market today to deal with the various applications they are needed for. One of the configurations that is commonly seen needs a split core transformer. You will likely find split core transformers used in harsh environments or inaccessible places where monitoring of electrical current is needed. Split core transformers are used because their installation is uncomplicated and straightforward. A split core transformer is a hinged device that will snap open and closed over a conduit or conductor. No need for complex wiring installation or lots of screws and brackets to hold something to the conductor.
This ease of installation on the device make it superior for use in the previously mentioned harsh environs like remote power plants, offshore drilling rigs or petroleum refineries. And one of the best features of a split core transformer is the ability to retrofit them to an established installation. So when engineers are going about the design of power monitors, split core transformers go to the head of the class for ease of use and the way they can be worked in without disturbing existing structures.
While you might pay a bit more for split core transformers because of their ease of installation, it is also important to understand that they do not have the exact same performance expectations as solid core transformers. This is primarily based on the fact that they do split apart and if the contacts are not correctly matched, you could have imperfect results from your monitoring. You should look for flat contacts so a good connection can be made, as well as construction with good hinges and some flexibility of parts so compression is achieved.
When looking at flexibility of sensors, one of the best on the market today is the Rogowski coil. This type of current sensor is used when accuracy, precision, and the measurement of high currents that can have a high rate of fluctuation is called for. A Rogowski coil is highly flexible sensor that wraps around a conductor with ease. It is very linear which makes it excellent for situations where the current might be high or very fast-changing. It is small and agile, so installation is a snap – unlike traditional transformers that are bulky and heavy.
The error rate for monitoring with the latest iteration of Rogowski coil sensors has been reduced to around +/-.5% which is the kind of accuracy you want to see with this monitoring equipment. The cable coils are well made with equally spaced windings of the coil and the connectors have been improved as well. These improvements make the Rogowski coil a highly sought and used device for existing installations where adding other kinds of sensors would necessitate a costly interruption of production. Retrofitting is the name of the game for many industries and devices from Aim Dynamics such as split core transformers and the Rogowski coil sensors make these upgrades easier, better, and more cost efficient than ever before.