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Current Transformers to Monitor the Dinosaurs

Electrical currents can be quite hazardous to humans. If you are a movie lover, you probably recall the scene in Jurassic Park where the little boy, Tim, gets blasted off the electric fence they had to climb over. In the movie, the fences were used to keep the dinosaurs in. For these fences the electricity going through them was incredible, as it had to be to keep the dinosaurs at bay; much more powerful than fences used to keep in smaller animals like cows and dogs. To monitor the currents in the dinosaur cages, current transformers were probably used. Current transformers are able to measure the flow of electricity, in amperes, in transmission lines. They measure the flow for monitoring purposes, and can help control the flow to electronic devices.

Current transformers are often critical parts for measurement in power grids, homes and businesses. They are typically fitted with meters so that they can easily be monitored and read by utility workers and power companies. For the average person, this is how they monitor and judge your electricity bill per month, or sometimes misjudge when they do an “average” reading… I have run into this problem before. While the later case is annoying, current transformers are quite useful. The accuracy and cost of current transformers does vary, based on the materials used in its core.

The basic form of a current transformer is two coils of wire that are electrically insulated from one another. They are arranged so that a change in the current of the primary coil will result in a change in voltage in the secondary coil. There is also a wide array of types of these transformers on the market. These can include measuring, protective, air-gapped, anti-remanence, linear and wideband. They can vary further depending on if they are split core or clam-on current transformers.