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Turnkey module from Sendyne precisely measures DC current

03 Sep 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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Sendyne recently unveiled a turnkey module for precision measurement of current, voltage and temperature. The SPF100EVB operates in an automotive temperature range of -40°C to 125°C, the module simultaneously measures bi-directional DC current through a 100µ&Omega resistive shunt, voltage and temperature at 4 points.

The company's latest module is capable of resolving currents from 3mA to 513A within a single continuous measurement range (without sub-ranging or gain switching), with uniform resolution of 61µA, and performs automatic charge accumulation for built-in precision Coulomb counting.

The device was created for applications where accurate current measurements under conditions of widely-changing temperature are essential, such as battery monitoring for industrial, automotive, grid and off-grid storage, as well as photovoltaic arrays, drive controls, and precision current flow measurements (including battery cells characterisations).

The kit implements several of Sendyne's patented and patent pending technologies in order to achieve precision current measurements for field use comparable to the precision of metrology grade lab instruments. From 10°C to 50°C, the module typically achieves an accuracy of ±0.05 per cent for both current and voltage measurements; at the extremes of the full operating temperature range, the module achieves an accuracy of ±0.4 per cent for current measurement and ±0.6 per cent for voltage measurement. Accuracy is defined as the cumulative effect of all possible sources of error, including offset, gain and stability of the built-in precision voltage reference.

Turnkey Module

The precision of the accumulated charge quantity in the Coulomb count register is higher than would be possible by reading and accumulating individual current measurements, due to a precisely uniform sampling rate and absence of jitter. Moreover, if full-scale (positive or negative) current measurements are accumulated continuously, the Coulomb count register is capable of collecting up-to 43 years of data without over- or under-flow.

The module utilises Sendyne's SFP100 measurement IC that contains two 24bit ΣΔ ADCs. Galvanic isolation allows both low-side and high-side current measurements and provides improved attenuation of system-induced noise. Power consumption is typically 82mW. The SFP100EVB communicates internally digitized values to the host through a simple, LIN-like serial interface; custom interfaces can be accommodated.

evaluation kit

A complete evaluation kit for SFP100EVB is available that includes the module, a Serial-to-USB cable, as well as Windows'-based control software. The software provides visual indication of all measured values, both in digital-meter and real time chart formats, as well as automatic saving of all data in files (data logging), with unlimited duration, for off-line review and export in an ASCII format.

Furthermore, it allows assessment and control of all internal registers and settings for the SFP100 IC utilised by the module.

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