Sensata Technologies Holding N.V., a manufacturer of sensors and controls, has released its new family of Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-recognized arc fault detectors for preventing thermal events on solar photovoltaic arrays.
The company says its Sensata PVAF family of arc fault detectors allows PV inverter and combiner box manufacturers to develop National Electric Code (NEC) 2011-compliant equipment. The PVAF family is a series of UL 1699B-recognized, pre-integrated arc detection solutions for use in inverters or combiner boxes on new arrays, or retrofit boxes on existing arrays.
Sensata says the proprietary solution detects arcs while minimizing nuisance trips by identifying the electrical noise signature created by arc faults in the array wiring. Each PVAF device monitors up to four PV strings by itself, and multiple PVAFs can run in parallel to monitor more strings or a whole combiner box.
The PVAF series is available in configurations powered with 12 VDC or 24 VDC, and for monitoring strings up to 15 A at 1,000 V or combined lines up to 40 A at 1,000 V. Custom versions for specific applications are also available.