[TriEmbed] High Current Sensing

Adam Haile email at adamhaile.net
Sat Jun 14 10:35:48 CDT 2014

As those that saw my projects at the Maker Faire know, I work with a lot of
high current LED projects. So I'm always looking for higher current
supplies and my variable bench supply definitely doesn't cut it so I
generally use supplies like the 5V/40A supply I used for my 24x24 matrix.
But that is even a too little for some of the projects I have planned. I'm
thinking about getting a 500 - 700W (@5V) supply (something like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/370888481354) and building it out with a few more

Mainly, I want to add built in current sensing that would be displayed on
an LCD screen (likely all Arduino controlled). The supply itself would be
unmodified - I'm not crazy. I would just add all that between the supply
output and connectors on the outside of an enclosure I would build.

So, my main question is if anyone has any advice for how I could go about
sensing this much current? I'm thinking about using something like the TI
INA219 (http://www.ti.com/product/ina219) which, with the right shunt,
should be able to handle it and would have a nice I2C interface. I'd also
like to have 2 - 4 separate outputs, each with their own separate sensor...
so each would need to handle up to 100A or so.

I realize that running the current through any PCB trace to the shunt would
probably require insanely wide traces, so is there a good, high precision
shunt that would work off PCB?

Basically, I don't know what I don't know, so I'd love any direction that
could be given.
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