National Semiconductor Corp. introduced the
SolarMagic arc detection reference design, which consists of analog front
end integrated circuits (ICs) and multi-band dynamic filtering
firmware. According to National, this is the first commercially available
chipset to detect hazardous DC arc faults in photovoltaic (PV) systems.
In PV systems today, intermittent connections
or insulation deterioration (faults) can cause DC circuits to generate arcs of
considerable energy. The arc, reaching temperatures of over 3,000 degrees
C, poses safety risks to surrounding infrastructure and personnel. The 2011 U.S.
National Electrical Code (NEC) 690.11 requires an arc-fault circuit
detect and protect system as part of all new PV system installations.
National's new SolarMagic arc detection reference design includes analog front
end ICs and multi-band dynamic filtering (MBDF) firmware. Together, they
detect the arc fault condition and provide an alert to shutdown system power,
extinguishing the arc.
Pricing and Availability:
Available now, the SolarMagic arc detection chipset is offered in a variety of
industry-standard electronic packages and priced at $7.90 in quantities of
1,000 including a license for the MBDF firmware.
Download the RD-195 arc detection reference
design, including an evaluation board, bill of materials and schematic, at http://www.national.com/rd/RDhtml/RD-195.html.