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How to Use Hall Effect Sensors and Current Sense Resistors

Electronic circuits use two types of sensors to measure current: hall effect sensors and current sense resistors. Hall effect sensors use the principle of the Hall effect to measure the magnetic field generated by the current passing through a conductor, while current sense resistors measure the voltage drop across a resistor that is placed in series with the current-carrying conductor.

Hall sensors are widely used in automotive and industrial applications, as well as in electric motors and generators. Hall sensors are utilized to measure current, RPM, and position, as well as for speed control and anti-lock brake systems in vehicles. In electric motors and generators, hall sensors are used to determine the position and speed of the rotor, which is essential for proper operation.

LEM current sensors and SEM sensors are two widely recognized brands of hall effect current sensors. LEM current sensors are renowned for their accuracy and reliability, as well as their ability to handle high currents and high temperatures. In contrast, SEM sensors are recognized for their compact size and simplicity of use, as well as their affordability.

Current sense resistors are another widely used technique for measuring current in electronic circuits, in addition to hall effect sensors. A current sense resistor is a resistor that is connected in series with the current-carrying conductor, and the voltage drop across the resistor is directly proportional to the current passing through it. The value of the resistor is chosen so that the voltage drop across it is small enough not to significantly affect the circuit’s performance, but large enough to be accurately measured.

Current sense resistors are frequently used in power management applications, such as in battery chargers and power supplies. Additionally, they are utilized in motor control circuits to measure the current passing through the motor windings and in electronic circuit breakers to detect overcurrent conditions. Some common types of current sense resistors include metal film, metal oxide, and shunt resistors. Metal film resistors are usually more accurate than metal oxide resistors, but they are also more costly. Shunt resistors are created explicitly for current sensing applications and have extremely low resistance, sometimes as little as a few milliohms.

To select a hall effect sensor or a current sense resistor for a specific application, several factors must be considered, such as the maximum current to be measured, the required accuracy, the temperature range, and the cost.

In conclusion, Hall effect sensors are an essential component in current sensing technology, and they offer several benefits over other current sensing technologies. Hall effect sensors are non-invasive, precise, dependable, and can measure both AC and DC current, which makes them ideal for a broad range of applications. Famous brands of Hall effect current sensors, such as LEM and SEM Sensor, offer various current sensing solutions that suit different applications and industries.

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