Current sensing is widely used in power electronic applications such as dc-dc power converters and adjustable-speed motor drives. Such power converters are the basic building blocks of drivetrains in electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The performance and control of such vehicles depend on the accuracy, bandwidth, and efficiency of its sensors. Various current-sensing techniques based on different physical effects such as Faraday's induction law, Ohm's law, Lorentz force law, the magnetoresistance effect, and the magnetic saturation effect are described in this paper. Each technique is reviewed and examined. The current measurement methods are compared and analyzed based on their losslessness, simplicity, and ease of implementation.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Automotive Electronics; Current Sensing; Power Electronics; Basic Building Block; Current Measurements; Current Sensing; DC-DC Power Converter; Faraday's Induction Law; Magnetic Saturation Effects; Magnetoresistance Effects; Ohm's Law; Physical Effects; Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle; Power Electronic Applications; Sensing Techniques; Speed Motors; Electric Automobiles; Electric Current Measurement; Electric Drives; Electric Resistance; Lorentz Force; Magnetic Field Effects; Magnetoresistance; Power Converters; Power Electronics; Saturation Magnetization; Sensors; Vehicles; Automobile Electronic Equipment

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0018-9545; 1939-9359

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2009