How much do you know about measuring current? If you’re like the average person, you’re probably asking a lot of questions right now, such as  – what type of current am I measuring (AC or DC)? Or things like measuring current?

What do I need to know that for? Since electrical currents play a large role in our day to day life, since we are constantly surrounded by electronic devices, it’s important that you know a thing or two about measuring current. One of these days, you might need to measure currents in order to ensure that your device is working properly, and you’ll be glad that you know what to do. Here’s a guide to measuring current, courtesy of Empro Shunts.

What Is Current?

Let’s start at the very beginning by explaining exactly what current is. You’re probably aware that electronic devices need a steady of electrical currents in order to work. Either they run off of batteries, which produce the power needed to work the device, or they need to be plugged into the wall. This is where the electricity comes from. However, without current, or the flowing of electrons, none of this would be possible. Electrons are tiny atoms that hold a charge. They move, providing a source of electricity for your devices.

Why Measure Current?

The easiest explanation for why we need to measure current is by pointing out that it flows at different rates. This is why where are differently sized batteries. It’s not so much the fact that only a certain sized battery fits into a specific space in a device, but that the batteries contain different amounts of electricity that are then used to power the device. Some need more power, so they require a stronger battery, while others can get away with using a smaller one.

This is also why power cords matter, since devices charge at a different rate, and forcing their batteries to charge on something that’s too fast or too slow can damage them. All of this related to the current that is needed inside of the device in order to make it work. This can be measured with a device called a shunt. Empro Shunts makes many different types of these shunts, and which one you’ll use depends on the type of current that you’re trying to measure. For example, there are AC shunts and DC shunts, and you need to match them in order to get a solid reading.

What’s Involved in Measuring Current?

Measuring current involves knowledge of Ohm’s Law, which uses current, voltage, and resistance. While there’s a lot more to Ohm’s Law than that, for this, you just need to know that the three are interconnected here. When you go to measure current with a shunt, you’re ensuring that you have the correct amount of it flowing through the device. All three of these things – current, voltage, and resistance are involved. Pay attention to the current specifically, although the others matter as well.