AC Current Measurement System Using Arduino And CT Sensor

Smart energy monitoring systems are becoming increasingly popular these days to increase the energy efficiency of industries, buildings, etc. We have previously built an energy monitoring system to monitor power reading through a cloud server. But now we are going to build an Arduino-based smart energy monitoring system for AC current measurement. We have also seen AC current measurement multimeter from professional technicians which can measure current efficiently very efficiently. But these meters are so costly and also we can’t monitor current all the time with this.

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For this drawback, today in this project we are going to build an Arduino-based system which can detect current all the time, and display the result through an LCD display. And it is cost-effective. We are using CT (Current Transformer) sensor to measure current efficiently. This circuit also uses a rectifier and an amplifier for signal conditioning. For displaying the current we use a 16×2 LCD display. There are also many different ways to make this system like Inductive sensor, Hall-Effect sensor, etc which we will discuss in another project. CT sensor can measure current range from 100mA to 100Amp.


AC Current Measurement

Circuit Diagram

AC Current Measurement Circuit Diagram

Components Required

  • Arduino Nano
  • SCT-013 CT Sensor
  • LM358 Op-Amp
  • 16×2 LCD Display
  • I2C Display Module
  • Resistor (10K, 22K, 1K)
  • 100uF/25V Electrolyte Capacitor
  • 1N5819 Schottky Diode
  • Breadboard
  • Wires
  • 5 Volt Power Supply

Current Transformer for AC Current Measurement

The Current Transformer (CT) is a very safe method for measuring alternating current as there is no physical connection between the main AC current and the circuit. It is used in industries and large complexes where a large number of current needs to be measured. It is a type of “Instrument Transformer” that is made to produce an alternating current in its secondary winding coil which is proportional to the current being measured in its primary coil. Current Transformer reduces high voltage currents to a much minimal current and provides a convenient way of safely monitoring the actual electrical current flowing through an AC transmission line.

Unlike the voltage transformer, the Current Transformer consists of very few turns of the coil as its primary winding. This primary winding can be of either a single flat turn or just a conductor or bus bar placed through a central hole. There are three types of Current Transformer exist Wound Current Transformer, Toroidal Current Transformer, and Bar-type Current Transformer. In this project, we are using Toroidal Current Transformer.

SCT-013 Current Transformer Sensor

sct-013 CT sensor

This is a Non-Invasive current sensor that has been used to sense the accuracy of the current measurement. SCT-013 is a split core clamp-on CT sensor. Because of this feature, the CT has been clamped onto the single phase of the wire. In the output section, an AC voltage is engaged in direct proportion to the AC current change in the single phase.

PCB Design

For removing messy wiring and give a clean look, I designed a PCB prototype for this project. It is also helpful for troubleshooting that runs great without any errors. To design this PCB board, I used EasyEDA as it is too easy to use. For ordering PCB for this, I prefer PCBWay.

Gerber file for AC Current Measurement Gerber.

You can view the Gerber file here Gerber File Viewer.

PCB View

AC Current Measurement 2D View
2D View
AC Current Measurement 3D View
3D View

Order PCB From PCBWay

There are so many forums or communities for electronics online in today’s technical world, and one of the famous ones for PCB manufacturing is the PCBWay. PCBWay is a place that brings manufacturers and customers together. They have more than a decade of experience in this field of fabrication, prototyping and assembling PCBs. PCBWay has proved its focus on its customers’ needs in terms of cost-effectiveness, delivery, and quality.

How PCB Manufacturing Process Done in PCBWay

Standard quality for any product needs to be maintained using some parameters. PCBWay gives that opportunity through quality control in designing and manufacturing. At first, they ensure the accuracy, clarity, and validity of the PCB files that we sent to them.

Then all the boards will go through the most stringent tests other than the basic visual check. They adopt most of the testing and inspecting equipment used in the industry, such as Flying Probe Tester, X-Ray Inspection Machine, and Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Machine. PCBWay are having 50+ new engineers on the daily basis around the world using PCBs for their work, who trust for their reliable quality. They produce high-quality pink, orange, grey, and even transparent solder mask. Moreover, according to people’s needs, they can also provide Black core PCB. Check it out for a High-Quality PCB solder mask. There are some pictures below of the new colours of solder musks.

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Guide for Ordering PCB from PCBWay

How to Calculate Current Ratio for AC Current Measurement

If a magnetic field is enclosed around a close loop of wire, the value of the integral is equal to the net current enclosed by the loop. The primary coil of the Current Transformer has the main wire with current we need to measure passed through the centre of the core. The primary coil that carries the main current is said to have a single loop. The wire produces the magnetic field that drives the current on the secondary winding, which is used as the output of the CT sensor.

The current on the secondary winding is proportional to the current flowing through the centre of the core. Let’s suppose the current on the centre core is 20 amps and in the secondary coil with a 20 milliamps ratio. It means that 20 amps on the primary circuit would produce 20 milliamps on the secondary coil.

Current Ratio

Turns Ratio = Np / Ns = Is / Ip


Np = Turns in the primary winding

Ns = Turns in the secondary winding

Ip = Current in the primary winding

Is = Current in the secondary winding

Now we need to calculate the Ns.

Let’s consider the current ratio as 20A:20mA.

Is = 20mA , Ip = 20A = 20000mA, Np = 1

Ns = (Np * Ip) / Is

Ns = (1 * 20000) / 20

So, Ns = 1000 turns

Burden Resistance for AC Current Measurement

Another important passive component is burden resistance which protects the CT sensor under open-circuit conditions. This is connected across the secondary coil of the current transformer. To avoid high voltage protection, secondary coil or winding should always be in close circuit condition. But due to an incorrect connection of the circuit, a high voltage will be created across the secondary terminal. By using burden resistance, this type of error will be solved.

Working Principle of AC Current Measurement Circuit

Now we are going to discuss how this circuit will actually work. Firstly, connect the load to with AC mains supply and pass any one of the load’s wires (Either line or neutral but don’t pass both of them) through the middle of the CT sensor. This wire acts as the primary winding for the current transformer.

Due to the presence of AC current in the primary wire, AC voltage is induced in the secondary winding as well. Now to convert this AC voltage into DC voltage, a half-wave rectifier is used. This half-wave rectifier is in forward biased in the positive half cycle and reversed bias in the negative half cycle.

To rectify the ripples and get a smooth DC voltage, we added a capacitor at the output of the half-wave rectifier. The output voltage that is obtained from the rectifier circuit is of very less magnitude, so we use an LM358 operational amplifier with a feedback resistor.

The output of the non-inverting op-amp is:

Vout = (Rf / R1 + 1 ) Vin


Rf = feedback resistor value i.e., 10K

R1 = 1K

Vout = output voltage of LM358

Vin = applied voltage of non-inverting terminal of op-amp

So, Vout = (10 / 1 + 1 ) Vin = (11 * Vin)V

Arduino Code

A library needs to download LiquidCrystal_I2C.

Video Output

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