Use of current and voltage transducers in power electronics applications covers a broad range. Transducers are widely used in industrial applications, electric traction, energy distribution, automation markets, the automotive sector, and in battery monitoring.
The selection of a transducer is the result of a technical and economic trade-off, considering the transducer as well as the associated subsystems. All aspects of an application must therefore be taken into account during transducer selection and system design, with particular attention to the following:
- electrical requirements – including power supply requirements, peak measurement, response time, di/dt, dv/dt
- mechanical requirements – including aperture size, overall dimensions, mass, materials, mounting
- thermal considerations – including current profile versus time, maximum RMS measurement, thermal resistances, cooling methods
- environmental considerations – including vibration, temperature, proximity of other conductors or magnetic fields
The transducer development process includes a full regimen of tests that comprise the characterization report. These tests follow the scientific method, varying individual parameters to characterize the transducer's response to each. During production, a quality plan indicates the tests to be carried out on each product or batch of products to verify compliance with specifications. Unless otherwise specified, performance is tested under nominal conditions of current, voltage, temperature, and other parameters in the production and laboratory environments. In the actual application, several factors can act simultaneously and potentially produce unexpected results. It is therefore necessary to assess the transducer in these specific conditions to verify acceptable performance. This assessment is typically not difficult if the working conditions are well known.
The operating temperature range is based on the materials and construction of the selected transducer. Minimum temperatures are typically in the range of -40 °C to -10 °C and maximum temperatures in the range of 50 °C to 105 °C.
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