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Kelvin Resistors in the Measurement Accuracy of Ultra-Precision Current Shunt Monitors/Current-Sense Amplifiers

Writer:Microhm Page View:Date:2019-11-06
Ultra-precision, high-side current sensing is crucial in applications where the correct amount of current entering or leaving the battery needs to be measured to a very high degree of precision. A layout designer and design engineer need to take to measure ultra-high precision voltage drop across a shunt resistor. These measurements are enhanced utilizing the proven Kelvin sensing methods with a four-terminal sense resistor. Microhm Electronics' MVR2321-4, MVR3825-4 and MVR4618-4 are most used 4-termial Kelvin resistors.

Ultra-precision, high-side current sensing is crucial in applications where one must measure the current entering or leaving a battery. Today many digital multimeters feature four-lead Kelvin sensing to eliminate the series resistance of the multimeter leads and give an accurate voltage drop across a given resistor.

Similarly, a current-shunt monitor (CSM) or current-sense amplifier (CSA) measures voltage drop across a shunt resistor based on the current flown into or out of the battery. This is how you determine the amount of current drawn by the load from a battery in real-world applications. Systems today use low power and require a very accurate measure of charge left in the battery. To quantify remaining charge, every microamp drawn from the battery by the load or pumped into the battery by a charger needs to be accounted for. Thus, ultra-precise sensing of voltage drop across the shunt is critical.

Lord Kelvin’s pioneering effort is the basis of many electronic principles that we take for granted in our daily life, such as knowing when our cell phone needs charging. Kelvin’s work in measuring very low resistances is still used in modern integrated circuits (ICs). In fact, when you accurately measure battery capacity by applying early Kelvin principles and additional math, battery life is extended by preventing overcharging or discharging.


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