Taking the Lead on Solar-panel Safety with a Reference Design Specifically for Rapid Shutdown

SunSpec in the news, Texas Instruments Rapid Shutdown Video

Originally published via Texas Instruments website. Visit their site for full article.

Did you know that TI is one of the first semiconductor companies to offer designs for the rapid shutdown of solar power systems in the event of a fire or electrical hazard?

In 2017, National Electrical Code (NEC) 2017 mandate 690.12 added a new requirement for the safe shutdown of power circuits from photovoltaic modules to power inverters. In the event of a house fire, firefighters need to be able to rapidly de-energize these circuits for everyone’s safety.

The SunSpec Alliance, whose stated objective is to make “plug-and-play communication for distributed energy,” has developed a communication protocol for module-level rapid shutdown – emphasizing low cost and time savings while enhancing the overall health and safety of solar power systems.

How does SunSpec rapid shutdown work? Check out this video:

Because TI engineers participated in the Sunspec working group that developed the Rapid Shutdown protocol specification, I recently participated in a webinar with solar industry leaders from across the globe to show how standardization fostered by the SunSpec Alliance is improving safety and driving down costs.

To learn more, see the rapid shutdown application page and the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Transmit and Receive Reference Design.

The reference design uses the C2000™ MCU software project found in the application report, “Interfacing the C2000 with an AFE030/1: FSK Example.” To support the more cost-effective F28004x series of C2000 microcontrollers, the recently updated report now includes guidance on porting the Rapid Shutdown transmit and receive functions from the F2837x series.

Check it out, and remember that safety and solar should always go hand in hand.

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SunSpec Alliance is the information standards and certification organization for the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) industry. SunSpec communication standards address operational requirements of solar and energy storage on the smart grid.