What Is a Shunt Resistor?

Have you ever wondered what a shunt resistor is and what it does? If so, then this blog post is for you. In this article, we’ll explain exactly what a shunt resistor is and how it works. We’ll also discuss its applications and benefits. So, let’s get started!

What Is a Shunt Resistor?

A shunt resistor is a type of electrical resistor that is used to measure electric current by creating a small voltage drop across the component. It is typically connected in parallel with the load or circuit being measured.

Shunt resistors are commonly used in high-current applications where accurate current measurement is necessary. They are also used in power supplies, battery chargers, motor controllers, and other electronic devices.

How Does a Shunt Resistor Work?

When current flows through a shunt resistor, it creates a small voltage drop across the component that can be measured using a voltmeter. The amount of voltage drop across the shunt resistor is directly proportional to the amount of current flowing through it.

The resistance value of the shunt resistor determines how much voltage drop will occur at a given amount of current flow. Shunt resistors are typically low-value resistors with values ranging from milliohms to tens of milliohms.

Applications of Shunt Resistors

Shunt resistors have numerous applications in various industries. Some common applications include:

  • Battery monitoring: Shunt resistors are often used to monitor battery charging and discharging currents in electric vehicles and other battery-powered devices.
  • Power supplies: Shunt resistors can be used to measure the output current of power supplies and regulate their performance.
  • Motor control: Shunt resistors can be used to measure the current flowing through motors and control their speed and torque.
  • Electronic loads: Shunt resistors can be used as electronic loads in circuits where precise control over current flow is necessary.

Benefits of Using Shunt Resistors

Using shunt resistors has several benefits:

  • Accurate current measurement: Shunts provide accurate measurements of large currents without significant signal loss.
  • Low cost: Compared to other methods for measuring large currents, shunts are relatively inexpensive.
  • Easy installation: Installing a shunt resistor involves simply connecting it in parallel with the circuit being measured.


Shunt resistors are important components that enable accurate measurement of electric currents in various applications. By understanding how they work and their benefits, engineers and technicians can choose appropriate components for their projects.

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