Clamp meters

A clamp meter is a device that is used to measure alternating current flowing in a single electrical wire. It uses Ampere's law and works on the principle of a current transformer. Simply put – the clamp meter is a combination of a basic digital multimeter and a current sensor.

Tasks and advantages of clamp meters

With its help, it is possible to precisely measure the intensity of the electric current flowing through circuits or active devices. This is done by applying special clamps to them. The measurement result can then be read from the LCD screen. The great advantage of the device is the fact that it measures both AC and DC current flowing in any circuits (up to 1400 A).

What's important – a clamp meter can be used to determine the voltage of a live circuit. Thanks to this, measurements are made quickly and conveniently. In addition to being used to determine AC and DC, the device can also measure inrush current, DC and AC voltage up to 600V, resistance and continuity, temperature (Fahrenheit and Celsius), frequency and duty cycle ( fillings). It can also be used to test diodes.

How is a clamp meter built?

The clamp meter is one of the basic measuring devices used by electricians. Usually the design of the device is very simple. A hoop made of mild steel is fastened to the casing, usually made of hard plastic, which is closed around two coils. The primary circuit is a conductor that is measured for current. In turn, the secondary circuit is formed by a coil with more turns, and the reduced current can be measured easily and safely.

Types of clamp meters

The basic division includes analog and digital clamp meters. The first of them are still available for sale, but they are gradually being replaced by more modern models that provide more precise measurements. In addition, meters are divided into those that are used to determine alternating and direct current. The former use the principle of operation of current transformers. This is the most common type of this device on sale.

DC clamp meters, on the other hand, are more modern models, based on the Hall effect. This effect consists in the occurrence of a potential difference in a conductor in which an electric current flows, when this conductor is in a magnetic field transverse to the flowing current. Inside such a meter there are special semiconductor Hall effect sensors, i.e. magnetometers that detect the intensity of the magnetic flux. More and more often, meters are sold that can be used to measure both direct and alternating current at the same time. A special type are models called flexible clamp meters. They use a Rogowski coil, a special type of coreless transformer. Such devices are only used to measure alternating current (AC) and are ideal for tight spaces where the circuit or equipment is extremely difficult to reach.

Additional functions and advantages of clamp meters

Individual models of clamp meters have a number of additional functions. You can find, for example, devices adapted to determine the leakage current (alternating current of very small values). There are also earth clamp meters, which can be used to precisely measure the earth resistance without breaking the circuit. It is also worth mentioning about power meters that allow you to measure all types of power and energy of AC receivers, without the need to break the circuit supplying the electrical device. An interesting example of a clamp meter is also the harmonic model, which, apart from measuring all types of power and energy, is also able to precisely determine harmonic frequencies.

The clamp meter has many advantages. First of all, it is a very handy and practical device. Taking a measurement and reading the result from the screen takes literally a moment. In addition, a huge advantage of the equipment is the fact that there is no need to turn off the circuit when using the device. The meter is not large and can easily fit in a bag with the most necessary tools. It is also a very safe gadget. The meter allows the electrician to resign from the old method of measuring current consisting in cutting the wire and connecting the test leads of the old type meter in this place. Today, it is enough to use equipment with special clamps that do not even have direct contact with the wires during operation. The equipment does not require special maintenance, and its use is very simple. The whole thing is based on a simple mechanism that does not require specialist knowledge in the field of electricity.

A useful function of many gauges is to determine the maximum and minimum values. During subsequent measurements, the device saves the current result in the internal memory as the maximum or minimum value, if it is higher or lower than the value stored from the beginning of the function activation. Increasingly, meters are equipped with USB connectors, thanks to which they can be easily connected to a computer and paired with the given software.

Use of clamp meters

Clamp meters are used for measurements in industrial equipment, electrical installations of various types of buildings (residential, commercial, public use, factories, halls, etc.), as well as control elements. These are very universal devices that should be in their inventory not only by professional electricians, but also by DIY enthusiasts. Clamp meters are ideal for measuring both small and large currents flowing through circuits, will be suitable for measuring starter current in a car or in specialized applications, for graphing large pumps or motors operating in factories. The clamp meter should be selected for the type of work we intend to do with it, as well as the environment in which we will use it. It should fulfill its function primarily in terms of resolution and accuracy.

Clamp meters in the el12 offer

The offer of the store includes digital meters from several reputable manufacturers, e.g. Haupa and Sonel. We have models with a calibration certificate that allow you to make extremely precise measurements. In addition, the sale also includes the clamps for meters themselves, which can be used as a replacement or spare part for the original clamps attached at the factory to individual meters.

We fulfill orders as soon as possible. If the ordered goods are currently in stock, they should reach the address indicated by the customer within three working days. It happens, however, that a given meter must be ordered by us. During this time, the purchase may take several weeks to complete. Information about stock levels and estimated delivery time can be found on each product's card.