Solar power generation and energy storage monitoring: Page 3 of 5

August 20, 2019 //By Richard Anslow and Martin Murnane
energy storage
New government policy combined with new regulation is driving renewable energy generation, and the solar market is expected to have strong growth in the future. Due to the current increase of power density in solar inverters and the demand for energy storage balancing, this generation of solar power leads to a need to significantly monitor all elements of a solar system.

Why use RS-485 transceivers with iCoupler isolation?

iCoupler isolation provides a safe, reliable, and an EMC robust solution for solar PV network communication interfaces.

For solar PV networks the RS-485 or CAN communications interfaces often run over long cables in an electrically noisy environment. RS-485 communications are differential in nature and inherently noise immune. Adding iCoupler isolation increases noise immunity. The iCoupler family of digital isolation products has been tested and approved by various regulatory agencies, including UL, CSA, VDE, TÜV, CQC, ATEX, and IECEx. This regulatory agency testing provides a certified level of safety in the presence of high voltage transients and electrical surges that can occur in electrically harsh solar PV environments. The solar PV communications interface usually operates at low data rates—less than 500 kbps—which is an ideal operating range for RS-485 communications. Alternative implementations such as Ethernet operate at fixed data rates of 10 Mbps/100 Mbps or 1 Gbps, which are clearly overdesigned for the application requirement. iCoupler isolation has proven EMC robustness, which reduces field failures. Added EMC robustness reduces design and test time for interface circuits, allowing faster time to market for solar PV networks.

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