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High-Side Current Sensing with Input Overvoltage Protection (CN0241)
High-side current monitors are likely to encounter overvoltage conditions from transients or when the monitoring circuits are connected, disconnected, or powered down. This circuit, shown in Figure 1, uses the overvoltage protected ADA4096-2 op amp connected as a difference amplifier to monitor the high-side current. The ADA4096-2 has input overvoltage protection, without phase reversal or latch-up, for voltages of 32 V higher than and lower than the supply rails.
The circuit is powered by the ADP3336 adjustable low dropout 500 mA linear regulator, which can also be used to supply power to other parts of the system, if desired. Its input voltage can range from 5.2 V to 12 V when set for a 5 V output. To save power, the current sensing circuit can be powered down by removing power to the ADP3336; however, the power source, such as a solar panel, can still operate.
Figure 1. High-Side Current Sensing with Input Overvoltage Protection (Simplified Schematic: All Connections and Decoupling Not Shown)
This applies voltage to the inputs of the unpowered ADA4096-2; however, no latch-up or damage occurs for input voltages up to 32 V. If slower throughput rates are required, the AD7920 can also be powered down between samples. The AD7920 draws a maximum of 5 μW when powered down and 15 mW when powered up. The ADA4096-2 requires only 120 μA under operational conditions. When operating at 5 V, this is only 0.6 mW. The ADP3336 draws only 1 μA in the shutdown mode.
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