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Q&A

Energy harvesting from non-invasive current sense transformer

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I have a non-invasive current sense transformer (SCT-013-030) which according to its datasheet it is voltage output type.

I want to harvest energy and supply a wireless sensor that consumes 5-6 uA current average.

The most common approach is a rectifier on the output of the transformer. But I'm a little concern that this is not going to work on this specific type of sensor cause it will produce 1V AC at 30A load. Which means unless the current is at the maximum, the rectifiers will not conduct.

The question is, whether my theory is correct or there's actual a way to harvest energy from this sensor that I'm not aware of.

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Most of the energy produced by the CT windings is being wasted in the internal burden resistor. See this data sheet to see what I mean. I calculate that it has a 60 Ω burden resistor and, at full primary current (30 amps) it wastes nearly 17 mW of power.

At 3 amps, it wastes only 167 μW.

Given that your circuit current consumption is 6 μA at an estimated (by me) voltage of (say) 5 volts, your power might be 30 μW. So, it's doable but not so easily-doable with a CT with built-in burden resistor. Look for another CT is my advice.

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