AC Current Measurement Using Atmel AVR Micro-Controllers
For AC current measurements we use CT’s. If you never worked with CT you will think like this must be something which will hurt you badly. But if you already used CT’s you can understand that these types of things are only reason that AC systems are still alive. Yes, CT’s are just simple transformers which step ups the voltage. Moreover, working on CT is simple if you learn some important basics.
What are Current Transformers?
Current Transformers are simple transformers which step ups the voltage and steps down the current. In live wires, currents range can be vary from some milli-amps to hundreds of amperes. Measuring devices like Atmega8 / Atmega16 are not able to handle such high current. So CT’s steps down the currents and then give that small current to the micro-controller. There are two main types of CT’s
Toroid type CT is those which are easy to use with current sensing because in this type of CT you don’t have to cut the live wire. The primary winding of CT is the live wire itself and secondary winding has hundreds of turns so that a proper voltage will induce in the secondary. We have to just put the live wire inside the hole and a corresponding voltage will induce on the secondary terminal.
Simple Core type
Simple core types of CT are those in which you have to break the live wire and put a CT in between the live wire of the load. The primary of this kind of CT is mostly single high current bearing wire because whole current of load have to pass that wire. In our project we used this type of CT because they are cheap and easily insert in PCB’s.
Note: If it is hard for you to find this type of CT then don't worry. Buy components from the links below.
Click on the component name to buy the product from reliable sources:
- Blue screen 16x2 Character LCD Display Module
- USB to TTL converter UART module CH340
- 30A-Toroidal Core Current Transformer
- Printed Circuit Board
- Female Single Row Pin Headers
- Male Single Row Pin Headers
- Resistor pack 1/4W 1%
How to connect a CT with your ATmega8?
To understand this circuit completely, follow the link below:
The difference in circuit of voltmeter and ammeter is just of a burden resistor. We have to put a burden resistor in parallel with the secondary of CT. If we left open circuited the secondary then a large voltage will induce across it and will put stress or may be burn out the windings. So there must be an optimum valued resistor parallel with the secondary of CT.
After burden resistor part the remaining components have same working as voltmeter. So there is no need to explain that.
To get the whole code of Atmega8 and simulation file click on the buttons below.
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