I’m working on a project that will be using an ultrasonic distance sensor continuously throughout the day. I want to figure out what the theoretical power consumption would be over a number of hours in order to help me determine the necessary battery capacity for allowing the system to operate all day.

What information from the data sheet do I need to calculate this? What formula(s) do I need?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a specific sensor in mind, or are you asking about any sensor you might pick? \$\endgroup\$
    – Null
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have a look at the typical curret ratings for given supply voltages. either these values are mentioned in tables or charts. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23, 2021 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ We haven’t narrowed down the specific sensor just yet. I was hoping to factor the power consumption in to our decision. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23, 2021 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the device a transducer that you will integrate with your electronics or a COTS system (transducer plus necessary electronics)? In the end, you need to know the principles of integration. \$\endgroup\$
    – qrk
    Sep 23, 2021 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


Since the sensor is battery operated, I would measure the current through the sensor. But the best source of information is the manufacturer of the component.

Perhaps it is not the power consumption of the component that is important, but rather that of the entire measuring device, which is battery-operated. The frequency and duration of the measurement are also decisive. Find out how many watt seconds a measurement takes. Formula \$ W = U*I*t\$ then you can also estimate how long a battery will last. A 6LR61 (9V block alkaline) has about 320Ws until it is empty.


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