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Why Current Sensing is Important

From your palm-sized smartphone to your two-door refrigerator, electrical appliances come in all shapes and sizes. Naturally, different devices need differing amounts of electricity so they can function properly—and more importantly, not get damaged from receiving too much power.

This is why current sensing is such an important element of the power supply chain. Basically, current sensing measures the flow of electrical charges in a given system and is primarily done through the use of current sensors.

In most electrical lines, a device called the resistor is added to subdue or control the amount of current passing through that line, similar to how a faucet controls the flow of water. As the current passes through each resistor, its voltage drops; the current sensor measures that drop in voltage and extrapolates from it the total current of a line.

Current sensors come in a variety of designs suited for different applications. For example, rope-like sensors can be used to measure irregular-shaped conductors. Meanwhile, split-core types can be easily snapped around existing power lines, making them a perfect retrofit solution. Solid-core sensors, on the other hand, are more compact and accurate, although the measured circuit must first be disconnected prior to installation.

As you can see, current sensing is a major part of electricity delivery. Thankfully, specialized tools have made this process easier and more efficient than ever.