An LCR meter is used for inspecting electronic components, quality control and electronic circuitry troubleshooting. The LCR meter supplies measurement of inductance, capacitance and resistance. The meter detects incoming voltage and measures impedance, which is used to calculate the three separate values.
Admittance is the measurement of how well a circuit or device allows a current to flow. It is measured in siemens. In the related formulas, its variable is Y.
The measure of how much energy can be stored in an electrical field that passes through a capacitor. Capacitance is measured in farads. In a capacitor, capacitance is the ratio of electric charge contained in each conductor. LCR meters vary in the range of capacitance that they can measure. Capacitance is represented in formulas and output with a C.
Conductance is the proportion of how much resistance must be overcome in order for electrical current to flow. Conductance is measured in siemens. This measurement is normally the variable G in LCR meter formulas.
The rate at which energy is lost during electrical oscillation is known as the dissipation factor. Dissipation usually takes the form of heat released by the component.
Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR)
Since all components have some degree of resistance, inductance and capacitance, equivalent series resistance is used to set acceptable standards for different physical components. These values are abbreviated ESR. They are measured in ohms and used to validate the quality of components.
Impedance is the measure of resistance specifically related to an alternating current. Resistance is only the measure of voltage for direct current. Impedance, however, takes into account the variation in current and establishing a range of resistance. It is measured in ohms. The variable for impedance is Z.
The L in LCR, inductance is the measure of how easily a component can store energy in a magnetic field. The unit of measurement for inductance is a henry.
Quality Factor (Q)
Sometimes referred to as the Q factor, the quality factor is the ratio of energy loss compared to stored energy. Higher numbers signify a lower dissipation level per stored energy.
Measured in ohms, reactance measures how a change in electrical current or voltage affects a component. The variable X represents reactance in calculations. The difference between reactance and resistance is that reactance measures the change where resistance measures the constant value. Reactance is measured in ohms.
Also known as DC Resistance, this is the measure of a component’s resistance to direct current. Resistance is influenced by what the component is made of and how it is shaped. Resistivity is measured in ohm meters and abbreviated as R. LCR Meter specifications will explain the range of resistance that the meter is able to measure.
Test Frequency Range
Current operates in different frequency ranges. The range at which an LCR meter is able to capture data and provide output is known as its test frequency range. This is measured in hertz.