Electrical Inductance Sensors Information

Electrical inductanceElectrical inductance sensors are non-contact devices that measure the inductance of an electrical component or system. They consist of a wire loop or coils and are relatively inexpensive. Inductance, the property of a circuit or circuit element to oppose a change in current flow, refers to the capacity of a conductor to produce a magnetic field. The standard unit of inductance is the Henry (H). Because the Henry is a large unit, electrical inductance sensors often measure inductance in microhenry (µH) or millihenry (mH) levels.

Features

Electrical inductance sensors contain a nickel-iron core shaft that rotates within the coil around the material. The inductance measured by an electrical inductance sensor depends on the number of turns in the coil, the type of material around which the coil rotates, and the radius of the coil. With the rotation of the shaft, displacement occurs within the coil and generates inductance. This displacement produces signals that can be measured by an inductance meter and recorded. Most inductance meters are digital, hand-held devices suitable for measuring inductance of very low value. The results of the inductance calculation can be plotted as a graph for future study.

Specifications

Selecting electrical inductance sensors requires a careful analysis of product specifications and application requirements. Most electrical inductance sensors have a standard accuracy variance of less than 0.5% when measured on full scale. For best results, an electrical inductance sensor should be able to generate an output signal of at least 4-20 mA. Typically, a sensor’s measurement range is approximately 30% of the coil diameter. For high precision measurements, the thickness of the coil should be at least 0.025 inches (in.).

Applications

Electrical inductance sensors are used in many different applications. Some electrical sensors are used in:

  • the automotive industry
  • the power industry
  • constructing planar transformers
  • generating electrical magnetic fields
  • monitoring the inductance of an electrical component

Electrical sensors such as electrical inductance sensors are widely used for detecting the presence of electrical voltage in equipment and defective grounds.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Low Capacitance Coupling in Mains Step-Down Transformers

Engineering360—Wireless Inductance-Capacitance Sensor from NASA

Image credit:

SpinningSpark / CC BY-SA 3.0