Mitsubishi Electric launches two innovations for solar power industry

16 February 2015 (Last Updated February 16th, 2015 18:30)

Japanese multinational electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing company Mitsubishi Electric has launched two new technology developments to prevent drops in solar power generation.

Japanese multinational electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing company Mitsubishi Electric has launched two new technology developments to prevent drops in solar power generation.

The first is a direct-current (DC) arc-fault circuit protection technology that can detect any DC arc fault or high-temperature luminous electrical discharge between DC wiring in solar plants and isolate the faulty circuit in 0.25 of a second.

This can quickly restore faulty circuits and prevent large decreases in power generation.

"As well as identifying the DC arc faults, the technology can indicate the precise faulty circuit."

As well as identifying the DC arc faults, the technology can indicate the precise faulty circuit. It does so after monitoring sources of high-frequency current and likely deviations from normal current and voltage characteristics in solar cells.

Immediate detection of faults stops the problem reaching other functioning circuits, ensuring seamless solar power generation.

The second development is ARC SWEEPER, which can enhance the breaking capability of DC circuits and enable quick shut-offs.

Unlike alternating current technology, current direction for DC is determined by magnetic polarity, as breaking of the connection is done with magnetic action. The higher voltage used in circuits necessitates larger magnates and a wider breaking area.

ARC SWEEPER can increase the magnetic blow-out effect, which allows separation of DC current accurately and quickly, in any direction.

The technology is expected to prevent the malfunctioning of circuit connections, which has been a major reason behind recent fire accidents at solar plants in North America.

According to UL safety standards, the use of devices to detect DC arc has become increasingly mandatory. The International Electrotechnical Commission also intends to standardise countermeasures for DC arc.