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Vol. 138, No. 3, March 2012, pp. 2-13




A Novel MEMS Based Current Sensor Design for Smart Grid Applications


1A. Venkateswaran, 2A. Amalin Prince

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, BITS-Pilani K. K. Birla Goa Campus

Zuarinagar, Goa-403726, India

Tel.: 1 +91 9049654259, 2 +91 9423819733

E-mail: vishnu.a009@gmail.com, amalinprince@gmail.com



Received: 5 December 2011   /Accepted: 20 March 2012   /Published: 31 March 2012

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: This paper presents a new technique for power sensing using MEMS based current sensors for smart grid applications. In a smart grid, the power consumption of every device needs to be monitored. Modern digital power meters employ bulky current transformers for current sensing purpose. Their inability to be used on System-On-Chip makes Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) a potential replacement of the existing current transformers. Extensive study of miniaturization of devices is carried out in this paper. MEMS devices offer distinctive advantages of small size, low power consumption and integrability with CMOS devices. Despite the intrinsic advantages of MEMS devices, the induced current is too low to be sensed reliably. This shortcoming is removed by modifying the architecture of the current sensor by introducing modulation techniques. The induced current is improved up to reliable measuring range and the results are verified using COMSOL Multiphysics simulations.


Keywords: Smart grid, MEMS, Current sensor, Amplitude modulation, Magnetic flux density


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