Design and implementation of a passive autoranging circuit for hybrid FBG-PZT photonic current transducer

Mir, Burhan and Niewczas, Pawel and Fusiek, Grzegorz (2023) Design and implementation of a passive autoranging circuit for hybrid FBG-PZT photonic current transducer. Sensors (Switzerland), 23 (1). 551. ISSN 1424-8220 (

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In this paper, we present a novel technique for passively autoranging a photonic current transducer (PCT) that incorporates a current transformer (CT), piezoelectric transducer (PZT) and fiber Bragg grating (FBG). Due to the usage of single-mode fiber and FBG, multiple PCTs can be interconnected and distributed over a long distance, for example along a power network, greatly reducing the cost of sensor deployment and offering other unique advantages. The autoranging technique relies on the usage of multiple, serially connected CT burden resistors and associated static MOSFET switches to realize instantaneous shortening of the resistors in response to increasing measured current. This functionality is realized passively, utilizing a modular, μW-power comparator circuit that powers itself from the electrical energy supplied by the CT within a small fraction of the 50/60 Hz cycle. The resultant instantaneous changes in sensor gain will be ultimately detected by the central FBG interrogator through real-time analysis of the optical signals and will be used to apply appropriate gain scaling for each sensor. The technique will facilitate the usage of a single PCT to cover an extended dynamic range of the measurement that is required to realize a combined metering- and protection-class current sensor. This paper is limited to the description of the design process, construction, and testing of a prototype passive autoranging circuitry for integration with the PCT. The two-stage circuitry that is based on two burden resistors, 1 Ω and 10 Ω, is used to prove the concept and demonstrate the practically achievable circuit characteristics. It is shown that the circuit correctly reacts to input current threshold breaches of approximately 2 A and 20 A within a 3 ms reaction time. The circuit produces distinct voltage dips across burden resistors that will be used for signal scaling by the FBG interrogator.