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Plasma Science & Technology, Vo1.8, No.

4, July 2006

Design of a Rogowski Coil with a Magnetic Core Used for Measurements of Nanosecond Current Pulses *
ZHU Jundong TA0 Fengbo

(mjX,,@), YANG Liandian ($j$Sj@), Lanjun (&S@) YANG

(%@ @), ZHANG

Qiaogen (E S @ ) JIA Jiangbo ,

(W,z g),

State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian 710049, China

Abstract A Rogowski coil is developed to detect the nanosecond pulse signals of the discharge current with a wide bandwidth of 800 kHz to 106 MHz and high sensitivity of 2.22V/A. Performance tests show that the Rogowski coil has both excellent dynamic and static characteristics. Calibrating results and the comparison between the standard current shunt and the developed Rogowski coil for the measurement of nanosecond discharge pulses demonstrate that the developed Rogowski coil can reproduce the actualwaveform of the discharge current accurately.
Keywords: Rogowski coil, magnetic core, measurement, nanosecond current pulses


07.07.DC 07.55.-w, 84.37.+q


Investigation of gas discharges atanatmospheric pressure dates back to 19th the century. Recently, it has also been motivated bysomeissues related to electrotechnology and materials processing [l]. Of gas discharges, the so-called dielectric barrier discharges (DBD), high power pulsed corona (HPPC) etc, can facilitate theestablishment of a cold and non-equilibrium plasma in gases at atmospheric pressure and arepromising types of high voltage discharges that can be well controlled and have many interesting applications [2]. Therefore, there have beennumerouspapers dealing withthestudy of barrier/corona discharge plasma physics and chemistry underpulse voltages [31, which require the diagnosis of discharge parameters such ascurrent pulses, etc. It has long been thought that DBD or HPPC occurs in a pulse mode, comprising many short predischarge pulses with a rise time less than 10ns. The detection of the predischarge pulses becomes the critical enabling technique for understanding the mechanism of nanosecond pulseddischarge, which requires higher sensitivity and wider bandwidth. The current shunt or the Rogowski coil can beused in the measurement of current pulses. For current shunt, there is a good response characteristics. But a protecting circuit is necessary to keep the measuring instrument from being damaged due to the transient overcurrent of a gap discharge. Moreover, the introduction of the protecting circuit will cause oscillating and distorting of the waveforms, especially for the measurement of the fast pulse current. The Rogowski coil, isolated from thedischarge circuit, is suitable for the measurement of discharge current. However, the lower sensitivity and narrower bandwidth limit its application in the detection of very fast predischarge pulses. In addi

tion the Rogowski coil with a high sensitivity and wide bandwidth is also necessary in the detection of partial discharge occurring in high voltage electric equipment. These requirements call for the development of a new and better technology than that presently used in the Rogowski coil design, and thus require further study. In this paper, based on two models and considering the effect of the magnetic core, we try to develop a Rogowskicoil to measurenanosecond discharge current pulses with a small magnitude, whose rising edge is of a nanosecond level and trailing edge may be quite slow, thus, the coil should have both a wide bandwidth and good high frequency response.

Principle of the Rogowskicoil

The designedRogowskicoilworks on the principle of electromagnetic coupling. Up to nowtwodifferent models have been developed: the lumpedparameter model [*l which represents the basic theory in the design of the Rogowski coil and the distributed parameter model [71 which is specially used in the design of a Rogowski coil with a perfect high frequency response. In the former, Pellinen et a1 considered that if the time constant L,/R in the equivalent circuit is less than the pulse width of the primary current, the acts as a coil differentiating coil with the disadvantage of frequency dependence; in thecontrast, it is a self- integrating coil with the advantage of frequency independence [41. Furthermore, Oates et a1 [51 found the frequency range satisfying the self integrating condition by altering the value of R in the transfer function. Marta Argueso et a1 [6] put forward the R range, which is between the two poles of the transfer function and assures that the Rogowski coil acts as an integrator based on the lumped parameter model.

* supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 50477027)

Plasma Science & Technology, vo1.8, No.4, July 2006 According to thelumped parameter model, equations of the frequency bandwidth ( B W )are given as follows:
f l = - - -

1 R+R, 27r L, RR,C,


+ L, + RR,C,


R 27r L,'

(2) (3) (4)

Arbitrary waveform generator



1 1 M--.27r RC,'

B M ' = f h - f l = G ' ( 1 C , - -1 R

R), L,

R3 1

Fig.1 The measuringcircuit

A p N 2 hIn-d2 = p N z - = N M , L, = 2~ dl 1

where fi is the lower frequency limit, f h is the upper frequency limit, R is the integral resistance, L, is the self-inductance of the coil, C, is the stray capacitance, p is the magnetic permittivity of the core, I is the average length of the magnetic path, A is the section area of the ring type rectangular magnetic core, d2 and dl are the outer and inner diameter of the coil respectively, h is the height of the coil and N is the number of windings. In order to increase the frequency band, fi should be as low as possible while fh should be as high as possible. According to Eqs. (3) and (4), it can be found that L, should be as large as possible while R should be as small as possible. Accordingly, p and N should be large enough to increase L,. With the increase of N and the decrease of R , BW will become larger, but the sensitivity will become lower. Therefore, there are best values of R and N for the coil to have both a wide frequency band and a high sensitivity. Between the toroidal coil and the electrostaticshield there is a distributed capacitance so that the coil acts as a high-impedance delay line (20) disturbances and initiated by the mutual inductance between the main current and the toroidal windings take a finite time to propagate to the ends of the coil. Considering the system as a distributed line the electrostatic shield can be treated as a reverse turn [71 and R can filter the signals in combinationwith L, below the transit time. The ratio R/Zo determines the high frequency performance and the distributedcapacitance of the coil becomes the overriding factor. Both the lumped parameter model and the distributed parameter model have the same transfer function expressed by Eq. (5), which is related to the sensitivity of the coil:

range by controlling R and L, in the theoretical analysis, the frequency range and configuration parameters of the magnetic core actually play an important role in determining BW of the coil. First, the frequency range of the magnetic core should include the demanded frequency range. A ring-type rectangular ferriteof nickelzinc material with high resistivity p and low coercive force H, is used to obtain the performance of broadband and low loss in this work. Second, the relative bandwidth of the ferrite is determined by its configuration parameters


f max


2p1hln2 x 10-9 (d2 - dl 2h)2 '


In order to increase BW dz/dl should be set as large as,possible or h = (d2 - d1)/2, the latter is used to select the magnetic core in the design of the coil and the parameters of the magnetic core are set to be p = 250, dz = 34 mm, dl = 18 mm and h = 8 mm.


Selection of R and N

H ( s )= R/N.


In general, the sensitivity and the bandwidth of the Rogowskicoil are determined by R , N and the magnetic core.


Selection of R, N and the magnetic core

Selection of the magnetic core
Although BW of the coil can be in the demanded

After the magnetic core is determined, R and N are the main parameters which have a significant effect on BW. The instrument for experiments is an arbitrary waveform generator AWG2021, which can generatesine waves from 10 Hz to 125 MHz with an amplitude of 0 to 5 V, calibrating square wave and impulse wave from 10 Hz to 2.5 MHz with an amplitude of 0 t o 5 V. The measuring circuit is shown in Fig. 1. All the data are measured with a 500 MHz digital storage oscilloscope of TDS 3052. Fig. 2(a) shows the amplitude-frequency response of the Rogowski coil by changing N while R is fixed. In Fig. 2(b), R is altered and N is fixed. Fig. 2 shows that if R decreased and N is kept fixed, the lower limiting frequency will decrease while the upper limiting frequency will increase. Thus a large BW can be achieved with a low value of R . If R is kept fixed and N is decreased, the lower limiting frequency will increase, but almost no change can be found on the upper limiting frequency. From Fig. 2, it can be seen that the sensitivity of the Rogowski coil also depends / on the parameters of R and N . With increase of N , the lower limiting frequency can be achieved, but the sensitivity of the Rogowski will coil also decrease. Inorder to meet the requirements of measurement in nanosecondcurrent pulses, an optimized design of R and N is necessary.


ZHU Jundong et al. : Design of a Rogowski Coil with a Magnetic Core Used for Measurements
I,I *


L I^\
' a '


1"6 , I




, ,),,,,(


1 Frequency(MHz)



0 - -5 g


-10 -15 l

Fig.3 The square wave response of the designed Rogowski coil and the current shunt: Chl, The square wave response of the current shunt; Ch2, The square wave response of the designed Rogowski coil

, , , , ,,

,,, 1
, ,


, , ,


, , , ,,,,

P S ._

1 10 -


10 Frequency(MHz)



Fig.2 The amplitude-frequency response characteristics of the Rogowski coil. (a) N = 25, A : R = 250R; B : R = 100R;C:R=50R;(b)R=50O,A:N=10;B:N=5; C:N=25

2 . -5
-10 -


----Optimal curve fitting -Amplitude-frequency response

-15 0.01

1 Frequency(MHz)



Furthermore, the sensitivity of N = 5 and N = 10 is invariant from Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. That is because R and N have a range to satisfy the self-integrating condition and keep the Eq. (7) correct. When setting the range of R, the poles of the transfer function relating Ui(t) to Uo(t) move along the real axis as long as the terminating impedance is low enough, so that the oscillation will not occur in the system. In addition the Rogowski coil likes an integrator between the poles, which is also the range of R N can be set experimentally after the determinng the range of R. The best parameters are: R = 50Cl, N = 10 for the wide bandwidth of 800 kHz to 106 MHz and high sensitivity of 2.22 VIA with a termination resistance of 50 Cl.


The linearity of the designed Rogowski coil

1 3
1 .

f E O I


f (MHz)


Fig.5 Phase shift of the Rogowski coil

3.3 Tests of the designed Rogowski coil

The amplitude-frequency response and the step wave response are two important items of the dynamic characteristics. Fig. 3 shows the square wave response of the designed Rogowskicoil and the standard current shunt made by non-inductive resistors. The rising time and falling time of the calibrating square wave are 2.082 ns and 2.499 ns respectively. The response time of the current shunt (Chl) is3.108 ns, 2.827 ns correspundingly and that of the Rogowskicoil (Ch2) are 2.742 ns, 2.563 ns respectively. The response time of the Rogowskicoilis faster than that of the current shunt, which indicates that the response time of the coil is faster than that of the current shunt. The upper frequency calculated by Eq. (15) of the coilis about 127.64 MHz, which matches well the amplitudefrequency response.
fh = 350/t,.

important parameters to judge the static characteristics of the Rogowski coil. Within the bandwidth of the Rogowski coil, Fig. 4 shows a linearity of 0.95% of the designed coil obtained by the least squares technique and Fig. 5 shows the phase shift in the range of f0.5O which are suitable for fast-pulse signal measurement. The accuracy of the phase angle of the designed coil is 0.5.


Measurement of ns current pulses

Calibrating wit h nanosecondpulse signal


The sensitivity, linearity and phase shift are three

The elaborated Rogowski coil with the terminating impedance of 5 0 0 is used to measure the calibrating pulse shown in Fig. 6. The falling time and pulse width of the calibrating nanosecond-pulse are 2.716 ns and 4.419 ns, respectively. Waveforms of Chl and Ch2 are of the response measuredby the standardcurrent shunt 459

Plasma Science & Technology, vo1.8, No.4, July 2006 platesare used. Between these two platesthere is a PTFE thin film of 0.1 mm. The protective resistance is 500 kR. This circuit is used to investigate the DBD. A DBD waveform is shown in Fig. 8 under the pulse peak-to-peak amplitude of 5.2 kV with a frequency of 6.6kHz and 50% duty ratio. Waveforms of Chl and Ch2 are obtainedby the standard current shunt and the Rogowskicoil, respectively. FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) shows that the frequencies of the fast-pulse signals are mostly below 100 MHz, so thatit is in the bandwidth of the Rogowski coil. The experimental results reveal that by using the designed Rogowski coil an accurate waveform of the discharge current can be obtained, compared with that of the standard current shunt. Furthermore, the fast-pulse signals with a small amplitude can be measured by the Rogowski coil without an amplifier, which can also avoid noise invasion.





, U


CM ; J- ti12 v ,, ,,, ;,,,,

Fig.6 Measurements of thecalibrating fast-pulsesignal:

Chl, the response waveform of the current shunt; Ch2, the response waveform of the Rogowski coil
Protective Yellow brass electmde



l I Fig.7 Experimentalsetup for measurement of nanosecond


current pulsest

Based on the analysis of the magnetic core effect on the bandwidth of the Rogowski coil as well as the effect of R and N , a Rogowskicoil currenttransducer beenhas designed to have both wide bandwidth a and a high sensitivity by setting three main parameters. Test results and nanosecond current pulse measurements demonstrate that the Rogowskicoil can accuratelyreproduce the waveforms of discharge current pulses withananosecond rising time and lower amplitude.


Fig.8 Nanosecond current pulses measurements:

waveform measured by the current shunt; Ch2, measured by the Rogowski coil

Chl, waveform

3 4

and the Rogowski coil, respectively. From Fig. 6, it can be seen that the waveforms are almost the same in their rising time, fall time and the pulse width, which indicates that the designed coil can be used to measure the fast-pulse signals correctly.

Smulders Erwin H W M, Heesch Bert E J M van, Paasen Sander S V B van. IEEE Trans on Plasma Science, 1998, 26(5): 1476 Filimonova E A, Amirov R H, Kim H T, et al. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 2000, 33:1716 LaroussiM, Lu X. J. Appl. Phys. 2004, 96(5): 3028 Pellinen Donald G, Capua Marco S. Di, Sampayan Stephen E, et al. Rev. Sci. Instrum., 1980, 51: 1535 Oates C D M, Burnett A J, James The C. design of high performance Rogowski coils. IEEInternational Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives, Bath, UK, 2002 Argueso Marta, Robles Guillermo, Sanz Javier.Rev. Sci. Instrum., 2005, 76: 065107 Cooper J. J. Nucl.Energy, PartC, 1963, 5: 285 IEC 270-1981. (IEC, 1981) Partial Discharges Measurements


Measurement of nanosecond current pulses

6 7

The designed Rogowski coil is usedto measure a fastpulse signal in the laboratory. The experimental setup diagram is shown in Fig. 7 based on the standard IEC 270-1981 ['l. The signals are measured by the Rogowski coil as well as the standard current shunt. Rogowski electrodes with a diameterof 60 mm made of two brass

(Manuscript received 11 July 2005) E-mail address of ZHU Jundong: