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Chapter: Measurements and Instrumentation - Comparison Methods of Measurements

Null-type impedance A.C bridge

Null-type impedance A.C bridge
Bridges with a.c. excitation are used to measure unknown impedances. As for d.c. bridges, both null and deflection types exist, with null types being generally reserved for calibration duties.

A.C bridges

 

Bridges with a.c. excitation are used to measure unknown impedances. As for d.c. bridges, both null and deflection types exist, with null types being generally reserved for calibration duties.

 

Null-type impedance bridge

 

A typical null-type impedance bridge is shown in Figure 7.7. The null point can be conveniently detected by monitoring the output with a pair of headphones connected via an operational amplifier across the points BD. This is a much cheaper method of null detection than the application of an expensive galvanometer that is required for a d.c. Wheatstone bridge.

 

 

 

If Zu i s capacitive, i.e. Zu D 1/jωCu, then Zv m u s t consist of a variable capacitance box, which is readily available. If Zu is inductive, then Zu D Ru C jωLu .

 

Notice that the expression for Zu as an inductive impedance has a resistive term in it because it is impossible to realize a pure inductor. An inductor coil always has a resistive component, though this is made as small as possible by designing the coil to have a high Q factor (Q factor is the ratio inductance/resistance). Therefore, Zv must consist of a variable-resistance box and a variable-inductance box. However, the latter are not readily available because it is difficult and hence expensive to manufacture a set of fixed value inductors to make up a variable-inductance box. For this reason, an alternative kind of null-type bridge circuit, known as the Maxwell Bridge, is commonly used to measure unknown inductances.

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