To assess the reliability of dc energy measurement equipment on-board trains, a setup was developed to characterize current transducers under realistic operating conditions. The operating principle is based on a current ratio measurement technique. The reference sensor is a high-precision zero-flux current transducer in combination with a broadband high-precision current shunt. The influence of ac distortion on this reference sensor was found to be within a few parts in 106 using an initial version of the setup, in which ac distortion was applied through a separate winding. A revised version of the setup employs a programmable electronic load to apply dynamic currents up to 600 A. The setup was used to characterize a 100 μohm high-current shunt resistor. The effect of dissipative heating on the dc transresistance error was around 0.03 %, with a settling time of about half an hour. The short-term intrinsic current dependence was also around 0.03 %. The effect of ac distortion was within a few parts in 106. The intrinsic current dependence and the onset of the heating effect were also observed when exposing the sensor to a dynamic current profile that was recorded during a trip between two successive underground train stations on Metro de Madrid. These results demonstrate that the setup described in this paper is very effective for characterizing dc current sensors for practical railway applications. Future work will concentrate on even more demanding current signals, such as chopped signals, and on other types of sensors and measurement systems.
ORCID of Submitting Author0000-0001-5796-3906
Submitting Author's InstitutionVSL B.V.
Submitting Author's CountryNetherlands