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TI unveils DC arc detect reference sol'n

25 Mar 2013

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Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has announced what it touts as the industry's first fully programmable DC arc detect reference solution. According to the company, the RD-195 allows designers to address the growing need to safeguard high-power DC systems such as automobile and aircraft battery management systems, industrial factory equipment and photovoltaic units, against arc faults.

Designers can program the RD-195 to optimise the balance between arc-detection accuracy and false detection prevention to meet their system needs. It is also accompanied by a software application tool that enables alteration of threshold detection parameters.

The RD-195 have arc detection threshold parameters that can be configured using the accompanying software tool so the system can always detect valid arcs, while minimising nuisance tripping. It also detects different types of arcs including series, parallel and ground arcs. It is designed to operate in noisy environments with RF interference. Additionally, all signal chain components in the solution operate across the full industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C, added TI.

The typical response time of the solution is less than 100ms, which allows the system controller to take quick action, mitigating the consequences of fires caused by arcing. Additionally, the RD-195 is certified per the Underwriters Laboratories UL1699B standard, and is listed as a recognised device under UL1998. This helps ease and speed designers' time to market with a UL-certified product. It is also compliant with the NEC690.11 solar power safety requirements.

The RD-195 evaluation module (EVM) enables designers to evaluate the RD-195 for a variety of applications. The EVM includes TI's C2000 Piccolo TMS320F28033 32bit MCU with C28x core and control law accelerator (CLA), one SM73201 16bit ADC three SM73307 dual-channel precision operational amplifiers and one SM73308 low noise, rail-to-rail output op amp. Also included are BOM, schematic, board layout files, software application tool, firmware licensing agreement, arc detect code with UL1998 models and application note.

The RD-195 reference solution features a software application tool that allows designers to fine-tune the system's arc detection threshold levels to increase its accuracy in detecting valid arcs and avoiding false detects. Also included are reference design CAD files.

The RD-195 arc detect reference evaluation kit is available at a suggested retail price of $199.

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