JAJSCL0C July 2016 – December 2021 INA240
The INA240 determines the current magnitude from measuring the differential voltage developed across a resistor. This resistor is referred to as a current-sensing resistor or a current-shunt resistor. The flexible design of the device allows a wide input signal range across this current-sensing resistor.
The current-sensing resistor is ideally chosen solely based on the full-scale current to be measured, the full-scale input range of the circuitry following the device, and the device gain selected. The minimum current-sensing resistor is a design-based decision in order to maximize the input range of the signal chain circuitry. Full-scale output signals that are not maximized to the full input range of the system circuitry limit the ability of the system to exercise the full dynamic range of system control.
Two important factors to consider when finalizing the current-sensing resistor value are: the required current measurement accuracy and the maximum power dissipation across the resistor. A larger resistor voltage provides for a more accurate measurement, but increases the power dissipation in the resistor. The increased power dissipation generates heat, which reduces the sense resistor accuracy because of the temperature coefficient. The voltage signal measurement uncertainty is reduced when the input signal gets larger because any fixed errors become a smaller percentage of the measured signal. The design trade-off to improve measurement accuracy increases the current-sensing resistor value. The increased resistance value results in an increased power dissipation in the system which can additionally decrease the overall system accuracy. Based on these relationships, the measurement accuracy is inversely proportional to both the resistance value and power dissipation contributed by the current-shunt selection.
By increasing the current-shunt resistor, the differential voltage is increased across the resistor. Larger input differential voltages require a smaller amplifier gain to achieve a full-scale amplifier output voltage. Smaller current-shunt resistors are desired but require large amplifier gain settings. The larger gain settings often have increased error and noise parameters, which are not attractive for precision designs. Historically, the design goals for high-performance measurements forced designers to accept selecting larger current-sense resistors and the lower gain amplifier settings. The INA240 provides 100-V/V and 200-V/V gain options that offer the high-gain setting and maintains high-performance levels with offset values below 25 µV. These devices allow for the use of lower shunt resistor values to achieve lower power dissipation and still meet high system performance specifications.
Table 8-1 shows an example of the different results obtained from using two different gain versions of the INA240. From the table data, the higher gain device allows a smaller current-shunt resistor and decreased power dissipation in the element. The Section 8.4.4 section provides information on the error calculations that must be considered in addition to the gain and current-shunt value when designing with the INA240.
|Gain||—||20 V/V||200 V/V|
|VDIFF||Ideal maximum differential input voltage||VDIFF = VOUT / Gain||150 mV||15 mV|
|RSENSE||Current-sense resistor value||RSENSE = VDIFF / IMAX||15 mΩ||1.5 mΩ|
|PRSENSE||Current-sense resistor power dissipation||RSENSE × IMAX2||1.5 W||0.15 W|