[TriEmbed] High Current Sensing

Fred Ebeling FEbeling at ECPDesigns.com
Sat Jun 14 10:50:40 CDT 2014


I would recommend one of the allegromicro products.  They have evaluation boards and I actually
use one to monitor my power supplies under development.  Its big advantage is its isolated and
you only have to pass the power thru the device.  No voltage drop, no power loss.


Fred Ebeling
ECP Designs

From: Adam Haile 
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2014 11:35 AM
To: triembed at triembed.org 
Subject: [TriEmbed] High Current Sensing

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 features.  

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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