Micropower Circuit Monitors Positive Supply Current
Because the op amp's common-mode range includes the supply rails, it can sense small voltages near the positive rail, such as those across RS. Feedback resistor RF should equal 100RS or 1000RS. The op amp drives P-channel MOSFET Q1, whose drain-source current produces a voltage across RF equal to that across RS, subject to an error of ±VOS. As a result,
IO = (ILRS)(1/RF) and,
VO = (ILRS)(RO/RF).
The component values shown provide a VO range of 0 to 1V for the supply-current range 0 to 1A. You can add a trimming potentiometer to null VOS. The remaining gain error depends on the tolerance of RS, RF or RO. The op amp draws 20µA and operates with a voltage as low as 2.5V. This op amp supply is produced by the five diodes, which are biased by RZ and the input supply voltage as shown in the table.
Figure 1. This simple load-current monitor produces a proportional signal voltage VO.