LIVERMORE, Calif., - SolarBOS Inc., a developer of Balance of System solutions for the solar energy industry, is pleased to announce that their new Arc Fault Detection & Interruption (AFDI) combiner passed internal testing on 24 June 2011. The tests were conducted using a set up similar to that described in the latest draft of UL 1699B. The combiner box successfully detected and interrupted several arcs of various currents well within the time limits described in the standard. The tests were conducted using a 600 VDC PV array at SolarBOS' production facility in Livermore, CA.
"Obviously, we're very excited about this breakthrough," said Jason Schripsema, Chief Executive Officer for SolarBOS Inc. "Many of our customers were concerned about the new arc fault requirements in the 2011 National Electrical Code and our engineering team has been working on a solution for this since mid-2010. The SolarBOS Arc Fault Detector gives our customers a cost-effective way to meet these requirements and improve the safety of PV systems."
The Arc Fault Detector Module (AFDM) fits on top of the positive bus within the space between the fuse holders. When used in conjunction with a shunt-trip capable switch, circuit breaker or contactor, the AFDM can open the circuit upon detection of an arc, thereby extinguishing the arc before it has time to produce enough heat to start a fire within the PV array wiring. In addition, the AFDM can communicate with a gateway device to alert system owners or operators of the detection and interruption of an arc.
SolarBOS plans to begin the listing process with a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) as soon as possible and hopes to have a listed version of the AFDI combiner available later this year.
SolarBOS will be showing the new AFDI solution along with other new products at the InterSolar North America show this July 12-14, 2011 in San Francisco. Attendees are welcome to stop by booth number 7565 on the first floor of the Moscone Center to see the entire range of SolarBOS products.