Current Sense Resistor, Shunt Resistor

Here is a practical example of shunt resistor selection for an MPPT based solar charge controller circuit. The below circuit uses LT3652, an MPPT charge controller from Linear Technology (Analog devices). However, If we look carefully, the battery that will be charged through this circuit is the load.

Current Sense Shunt Resistor Design

The load is connected using a shunt resistor R6. The R6 will determine the charge current, which means the voltage drop of this R6 will remain constant in every case as V = I x R. The R will be constant, the V will be constant, the driver will change the charge current.

To select the shunt resistor, the following things will be required-

  1. The constant voltage that will be used by the driver IC LT3652
  2. The maximum charge current that is required to be delivered to the battery through the resistor.
  3. Since it is a charge controller tolerance could be 1%.

As per the LT3652 datasheet, the sense pin will use 100 mV (0.1V) sense voltage that will be constant. Also, the maximum charge current LT3652 supports is 2A. Thus, the Shunt Resistor value needs to be R = V / I or Shunt resistor value will be 0.1V / 2A = 0.05 Ohms or 50 mili-ohms.

The power rating of this resistor needs to be P = I2R or P = 22 x 0.05 = 0.2 Watt. The close value of the shunt resistor will be 50 mili-ohms, 1% rated, 0.25 Watt. But instead of 0.25 Watt, 0.375 Watt is the safe resistor wattage that can be used.