Contactless Current Measurement for Enclosed Multiconductor Systems Based on Sensor Array

Guangchao Geng*, Juncheng Wang, Kun-Long Chen, Wilsun Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


How to measure ac currents in a bundle of inaccessible, enclosed conductors has been a challenging problem but with many potential applications. This paper presents a method to solve the problem using an array of magnetic field sensors. The proposed method consists of two novel ideas. The first idea is to use an off-site calibration method to establish sensor parameters including sensing position and angle, which provides more accurate sensor parameter estimation than their nominal values. The second idea is to “measure” (i.e., calculate) conductor currents and positions based on the sensed magnetic fields and preestablished sensor parameters. This process is simplified since the sensor information is obtained by the first idea. Both calibration and measurement tasks are formulated as nonlinear least square problems and solved efficiently. The proposed method is demonstrated for the cases involving ideal three-conductor system and practical residential service cable enclosed in a plastic conduit. The method has the potential for contactless current measurement of Romex cables and overhead distribution lines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2637
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number10
Early online date22 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

User-Defined Keywords

  • Calibration
  • Current measurement
  • Multiconductor systems
  • Nonlinear least square
  • Sensor array


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