Type of Ammeter
Today Ammeters in terms of mechanism of action are divided into the following types: 1.Moving coil 2-Moving magnet 3-Electrodynamic 4-Moving iron 5-Hot wire 6-Digital 7-Integrating
1-Moving coil Ammeter
The D'Arsonval galvanometer is a moving coil ammeter. It uses magnetic deflection, where current passing through a coil causes the coil to move in a magnetic field. The modern form of this instrument was developed by Edward Weston, and uses two spiral springs to provide the restoring force. The uniform air gap between the iron core and the permanent magnet poles make the deflection of the meter linearly proportional to current. These meters have linear scales. Basic meter movements can have full-scale deflection for currents from about 25 microamperes to 10 milliamperes. Because the magnetic field is polarised, the meter needle acts in opposite directions for each direction of current. A DC ammeter is thus sensitive to which way round it is connected; most are marked with a positive terminal, but some have centre-zero mechanisms and can display currents in either direction. A moving coil meter indicates the average (mean) of a varying current through it, which is zero for AC. For this reason moving-coil meters are only usable directly for DC, not AC.This type of meter movement is extremely common for both ammeters and other meters derived from them, such as voltmeters and ohmmeters. Although their use has become less common in recent decades, this type of basic movement was once the standard indicator mechanism for any analogue displays involving electrical machinery.
2-Moving magnet Ammeter
Moving magnet ammeters operate on essentially the same principle as moving coil, except that the coil is mounted in the meter case, and a permanent magnet moves the needle. Moving magnet Ammeters are able to carry larger currents than moving coil instruments, often several tens of Amperes, because the coil can be made of thicker wire and the current does not have to be carried by the hairsprings. Indeed, some Ammeters of this type do not have hairsprings at all, instead using a fixed permanent magnet to provide the restoring force.
An electrodynamic movement uses an electromagnet instead of the permanent magnet of the d'Arsonval movement. This instrument can respond to both alternating and direct current and also indicates true RMS for AC.
4-Moving irom Ammeter
Moving iron ammeters use a piece of iron which moves when acted upon by the electromagnetic force of a fixed coil of wire. This type of meter responds to both direct and alternating currents (as opposed to the moving-coil ammeter, which works on direct current only). The iron element consists of a moving vane attached to a pointer, and a fixed vane, surrounded by a coil. As alternating or direct current flows through the coil and induces a magnetic field in both vanes, the vanes repel each other and the moving vane deflects against the restoring force provided by fine helical springs.The deflection of a moving iron meter is proportional to the square of the current. Consequently, such meters would normally have a non linear scale, but the iron parts are usually modified in shape to make the scale fairly linear over most of its range. Moving iron instruments indicate the RMS value of any AC waveform applied. The moving-iron meter was invented by Austrian engineer Friedrich Drexler in 1884.
5-Hot wire Ammeter
In a hot-wire ammeter, a current passes through a wire which expands as it heats. Although these instruments have slow response time and low accuracy, they were sometimes used in measuring radio-frequency current.These also measure true RMS for an applied AC current.
In much the same way as the analogue ammeter formed the basis for a wide variety of derived meters, including voltmeters, the basic mechanism for a digital meter is a digital voltmeter mechanism, and other types of meter are built around this. Digital ammeter designs use a shunt resistor to produce a calibrated voltage proportional to the current flowing. This voltage is then measured by a digital voltmeter, through use of an analog to digital converter (ADC); the digital display is calibrated to display the current through the shunt. Such instruments are generally calibrated to indicate the RMS value for a sine wave only but some designs will indicate true RMS (sometimes with limitations as to wave shape).
There is also a range of devices referred to as integrating ammeters.In these ammeters the current is summed over time, giving as a result the product of current and time; which is proportional to the energy transferred with that current. These can be used for energy meters (watt-hour meters) or for estimating the charge of battery or capacitor.