National Semiconductor has introduced its SolarMagic arc detection reference design, comprised of analog front-end integrated circuits (ICs) and multi-band dynamic filtering firmware, at Intersolar Europe 2011. According to the company, this is the first commercially-available chipset to detect hazardous DC arc faults in photovoltaic systems.
The SolarMagic arc detection reference design overcomes common problems in PV systems, including intermittent connections or insulation deterioration that can cause DC circuits to generate arcs of considerable energy reaching temperatures of over 3,000oc, which pose safety risks to surrounding infrastructure and personnel.
As National’s SolarMagic arc detection reference design includes analog front end ICs and multi-band dynamic filtering (MBDF) firmware, it is able to detect the arc fault condition and provide an alert to shutdown system power, extinguishing the arc.
“It’s through National’s comprehensive signal processing and power management product portfolio and years of work in the solar industry that we are able to understand and correct PV module over-voltage problems,” said Patrick Quinn, general manager for National’s Solar IC Division. “Our arc detection reference design along with the new integrated circuits is one of many systems that National is developing for applications spanning the entire solar PV industry.”
National Semiconductor is exhibiting at Intersolar Europe, booth A1.151.