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Build Current Meter that is Connected to Display

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denki

New Member
Hello I am new to this forum

I have decided for my school's project to build a device that measures current in the electrical breaker/panel then output it in a display. I lack experience in building circuit. I have only built one i.e. a power supply in the past.

I would like to ask for some advice on how to get started. What are the concepts I needed to know? What general components it requires? I am planning to build something that measures current like how a clamp meter does it. Lastly, how do I make the electrical signal be output to a display? Do I need a microcontroller?

If I have time, I also want to see the current measurement on my android phone.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Do you want to measure AC or DC or both (current)?
What value of current? 0 to 10Amp?
 

denki

New Member
Thanks for the responses.

What type microcontroller do you suggest that I can use? Another student told me what I needed is a mini computer like raspberry pi.

I think I will only need to measure AC current since voltage is constant

I have another question. Sort of physics theory related question. I know clamp meter measures current around the wire. But, is it possible to measure the current(magnetic field) of the electrical panel outside without opening it.
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Thanks for the responses.

What type microcontroller do you suggest that I can use? Another student told me what I needed is a mini computer like raspberry pi.

I think I will only need to measure AC current since voltage is constant

I have another question. Sort of physics theory related question. I know clamp meter measures current around the wire. But, is it possible to measure the current(magnetic field) of the electrical panel outside without opening it.
Split core current transformers are common, a Google of "split core current transformer" will give plenty of results. No, you do not need a Rasberry Pi or any other micro or mini computer. A micro-controller will do just fine. Here is an example of a common, inexpensive Non-Invasive Current Sensor - 30A which cost under $10 USD. They are very common and it depends on how much current you plan to measure. Current transformers aside there are dozens of other AC Current Transducers available but they cost more, however, they are self contained and usually give a voltage or current output in DC proportional to the AC current. Just a matter of cost and how much signal conditioning you want to do. Any uC (micro-controller) with analog inputs should work fine, as a start the Arduino Uno is popular and has plenty of support as do the various PICAXE chips. You never answered how much current?

Ron
 

denki

New Member
Split core current transformers are common, a Google of "split core current transformer" will give plenty of results. No, you do not need a Rasberry Pi or any other micro or mini computer. A micro-controller will do just fine. Here is an example of a common, inexpensive Non-Invasive Current Sensor - 30A which cost under $10 USD. They are very common and it depends on how much current you plan to measure. Current transformers aside there are dozens of other AC Current Transducers available but they cost more, however, they are self contained and usually give a voltage or current output in DC proportional to the AC current. Just a matter of cost and how much signal conditioning you want to do. Any uC (micro-controller) with analog inputs should work fine, as a start the Arduino Uno is popular and has plenty of support as do the various PICAXE chips. You never answered how much current?

Ron
I want to get the current as high as the water heater so I guess that's around 60A. Regarding the microcontroller, I am not allowed to used Arduino (By the way, it is now a team project)

I added some modifications to my initial plan. Instead of just the ampere value, I will also display the waveform for each breaker/appliance real-time, store/send the data on internet and the data can be retrieved from home owner's cellphone. So my main design components are

Non-Invasive Current Sensing --> Analog to Digital Conversion --> Microcontroller --> Mobile (Android) App

I just thought that when measuring the signal then converting it to digital signal, I might encounter a lot of noise. I would like to know how can I minimize the noise? What type of circuit I can build to handle this?
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Non-Invasive Current Sensing --> Analog to Digital Conversion --> Microcontroller --> Mobile (Android) App
You need a wireless radio added to your list if things you need.

Think about these boards.
ADC only one input, MicroController, Wireless network, talks to Android.
upload_2017-10-15_16-10-36.png
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I want to get the current as high as the water heater so I guess that's around 60A. Regarding the microcontroller, I am not allowed to used Arduino (By the way, it is now a team project)

I added some modifications to my initial plan. Instead of just the ampere value, I will also display the waveform for each breaker/appliance real-time, store/send the data on internet and the data can be retrieved from home owner's cellphone. So my main design components are

Non-Invasive Current Sensing --> Analog to Digital Conversion --> Microcontroller --> Mobile (Android) App

I just thought that when measuring the signal then converting it to digital signal, I might encounter a lot of noise. I would like to know how can I minimize the noise? What type of circuit I can build to handle this?
Si now I nay assume this is actually a school project? Measuring higher current is not a problem but now you want to include real time monitoring remotely of how many channels? My circuit breaker panel as 40 circuits to monitor 40 circuits is 40 channels or real time data and you want to show wave forms? What method do you plan for communication? This has suddenly become a much more complex and costly project than originally planned. How do you plan to display real time waveform data?

Ron
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If you want a mobile android app you may was to Google Android PAW.

Ron
 
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