We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Current Sensor?

By T.S. Adams
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A current sensor is an electrical device that measures the flow of electrical current along a specific electrical line. It accomplishes this by taking a precise measurement of the drop in voltage at a resistor placed in the path of the current. This allows the current sensor to generate an estimate of the level of current flowing through the line. The output of the current sensor is given either as a voltage reading or as a continuing current which is roughly proportional to the level of current moving along the tested path.

Traditionally used to protect circuits from damage and general current reporting, current sensors are now used in a much broader range of applications. These include performance monitoring and enhancement; protecting against overcurrents, which can overload a line and place it at risk; and battery operated circuits, such as those with battery rechargers. Rechargeable batteries can especially benefit from current sensing, because without an accurate measurement of current, they can easily become overloaded or otherwise useless.

A current sensor works by attaching onto an active electrical line. Once attached to the line, the sensor reads the flow of electricity going through the line as it travels through a resistor. A resistor is a device placed in the path of a current which impedes the flow of electricity, ordinarily used to control and subdue the amount of current moving through a line. Voltage drops correspondingly as it passes across a resistor, depending on the overall level of resistance; by measuring the proportion of this decrease, the sensor can calculate the overall current of the line.

There are two general approaches to current sensing; low side sensing and high side sensing. Low side sensing connects the sensor between the original load and the grounding connection. This type of sensing provides an inexpensive method of measuring the current, but has a downside of adding extra resistance to the grounding path of the line. High side sensing, on the other hand, connects the sensor between the supply and the load. It typically requires a more expensive sensor — as a higher level of accuracy is required — but does not disrupt the grounding current like current sensing through low side connections.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.