Ammeter

November 1, 2021

Knowing the intensity of the circuit, the state of an electrical network or the spark generated by a motor when starting is possible with the same device. The ammeter is an instrument that detects and provides data on the intensity of electric current in a circuit, which is why it is very useful for household tasks, for jobs and technical activities.

With this tool you don’t need to have a very high degree of knowledge to use it, just knowing how it works is enough to use it. Over time, more updated, easier to use and more accurate models have been designed , so you will have options to choose the one that best suits your needs.

What is an Ammeter?

An ammeter is a measuring device that allows to detect and quantify the amperes that the electrical current in a circuit possesses, generally entering the flow of electrical energy so that in this way it can make the measurement.

In a more simple way, it is a device capable of measuring the intensity of an electric current in a safe and precise way, the ampere being the unit with which the intensity of the energy that it may have in the circuit is quantified.

The evolution of the galvanometer can be considered, because it has the same function but the ammeter is capable of measuring intensities higher than the galvanometer and can even be modified with more resistances to accurately quantify higher electrical current intensities for which it was initially designed.

What is an Ammeter for?

This tool has only two functions, it is used to detect the electric current in a circuit, no matter how low it may be, and it also serves to accurately quantify the amperes in it, that is, the intensity with which the energy flows in the circuit. to which it is connected or integrated.

This tool is widely used in the industrial area, since the consumption of electrical energy is very high and knowing the energy levels is very important to ensure the proper functioning of the machines. Also for the personal field it is useful to measure the current of the battery of a car and telephones and even to know the intensity of the electrical outlets in the home.

How does the Ammeter work?

The ammeter needs to be in series, for current to flow through it. The moving coil that it has internally and is located between the poles of a fixed magnet that when the current comes into contact with the coil creates a magnetic field, which depending on the intensity of the current will create a higher or lower magnetic field.

With this magnetic field, the coil will move proportionally to the intensity of the current making the amp indicator move and in this way, giving the measurement of the intensity of the circuit.

Uses of the Ammeter

Although there are different models and types of ammeters, their use is limited to 2 methods that totally depend on whether the ammeter is of the hook type or if it is not, since not being a hook ammeter, regardless of the model or the type of system you use to measure, you will have to do the same.

  • If it is hook

With these devices the measurement process is extremely simple, you will only have to take the cable you want to measure its electrical intensity with the ammeter clamps and you will have the connection you need.

The advantage is that you will not have to interrupt the electrical flow and then connect the device, just go directly to the cable and connect it to obtain the reading.

  • If it’s not hook

In this case, to make the ammeter work you have to make the electric current flow through the device to obtain the information. For this reason they are a bit more complicated to use, because you will have to open the circuit and connect it so that it is in series so that it gives you the desired data.

It is very convenient that you only have these two options to get the readings since they are easy to distinguish, which is a benefit when performing technical work, and easy to do without the need for much experience , just a basic knowledge of how it works. machine.

Types of Ammeters

The ammeter is a reading machine created a long time ago, so that over the years different types of ammeters were created, with the same functions but more accurate and easy to use . At present we can highlight a few ammeters for being the most important and well-known.

  • Analog ammeter

They are called this way because the ampere reading is represented by the movement of a needle, on a measuring range board, attached to a shaft to perform the movement. It performs the movement through a winding that receives the voltage and depending on its amperes the needle will move more or less close to zero.

This is the first ammeter model and it is still widely used today even with more current and smaller models.

That said, there is a subdivision in this type of ammeter, necessary to explain to know specifically what type of ammeters exist.

  • Magneto electric ammeter

These have a fixed permanent magnet and a moving coil that rotates under the effect of the intensity of the current flowing through it. The greater the ampere of the current, the greater the angle that the needle will rotate.

  • Electromagnetic ammeter

These have a needle attached to a magnet that is inside a coil that, when the current passes through it, generates a magnetic field that results in a repulsion or attraction of the needle moved by the magnet that will depend on the intensity of the current.

With this ammeter you can measure both direct currents and alternating currents (AC).

  • Ferromagnetic Ammeter

It is made up of a fixed coil that inside has a curved sheet of soft iron and a second sheet of soft iron, in this case mobile and attached to the steel shaft of the needle that expresses the measurements in amperes.

It works by circulating current into the coil, turning the iron sheets into magnets that repel each other. The force that these blades exert on the needle will depend on the intensity of the current generating a greater or lesser movement in the needle.

  • Digital ammeter

This ammeter is the evolution of the analog ammeter, since they implement shunt resistors and to translate the data they use analog-digital converters. The moving mechanical parts are replaced by electrical circuits, which benefit from minimal wear, lengthening the useful life.

With this type of ammeter we get exact measurements, and we eliminate the possibility of a bad reading on the part of the device operator, since the data is given to us by a screen in exact digits . They work in direct and alternating current.

  • Amperometric clamps

Also called pliers or amperometric hook. This type of ammeter could be said to be part of digital ammeters since everything is calculated digitally. It is the easiest to use of all ammeters, since you only have to hook it into the circuit you want to measure, without having to put it in series.

The benefits are that they give us an accurate measurement, it is extremely compact and can be used with one hand and can measure direct and alternating current.

Although the first ammeter design and its variants continue to be used, due to their reliable measurement, good durability, and the nature of their components, they are generally larger and more cumbersome than the most current models, with the current clamp being the one that will outperform in all aspects of its previous models, being easily the best option to choose when it comes to this type of meters.

Characteristics of an Ammeter

One of its initial characteristics is that it is designed on the basis of the galvanometer, with the benefit of quantifying the intensity of the current and representing the measurements in amperes.

It also has internal resistors called shunt resistors that are essential for the ammeter, depending on the resistors you use, you can have different measurement ranges. This resistance must be equal to or less than one ohm, to avoid distortions in the measurement of the intensity of the electrical circuit.

Another characteristic of the ammeter was its size, which, being analog components, had a large size but with the passage of time they were updated to digital components reducing their size until they were usable with one hand and have a size of up to a control television remote.

Importance of an Ammeter

Understanding that its function is to detect electric currents and measure the intensity of their energy, it provides us with the necessary information to know the state of a circuit , making its use very helpful in various work areas and home activities.

As is well known, each appliance or appliance has different energy needs, for example, a washing machine has a higher electrical consumption than a toaster, therefore, knowing which circuit will provide us with the necessary intensity for each appliance is essential for good operation of the same.

On the other hand, we have its use in the industrial area where we work with large amounts of electrical energy, where knowing exactly the energy levels is essential to detect faults or avoid them.

The automotive area is another that benefits from the ammeter because knowing the energy that flows through the motor or the current generated by the car battery or the necessary levels of electrical current for the ignition of a vehicle.

Basically its importance lies in giving us information, with which we can detect problems, know the power, distribute consumption , among other things, all related to electric current.

Knowing how this device works, how it is constituted and what are the benefits and importance of the ammeter, we can understand why it is an extremely important tool in the home and in industries and how we can get the full potential of this old and very useful tool.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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