‘Indestructible’ solid-state AC switching demonstrated

‘Indestructible’ solid-state AC switching demonstrated

Market news |
By Rich Pell

Prior to its products, says the company, solid-state based AC switches could never survive the harsh electrical environment of the AC mains. The company claims that its solid-state technologies are so advanced that they deliver the major advantages of smaller silicon chip-sized form factors, including advanced digital surge protection, arc free switching, increased switching speed by many thousands of times faster, and higher quality with enhanced reliability — even when paired with traditional electromechanical architecture, as demonstrated in the video.

The company’s Indestructible AC Switch is a patented technology for AC switching in solid-state architecture that eliminates electromechanical switches and is fully protected from transient load issues such as inductance, capacitance, surge, overvoltage, overcurrent, etc. Such capabilities serve wide market sectors from consumer to commercial up to fully industrial grade solutions, and include product applications such as outlets, dimmer switches, circuit breakers, surge protectors, GFCIs, AFCIs, and more.

In the video demonstration, using an oscilloscope to monitor electrical flow, the company shows how a traditional electromechanical switch in circuit breakers creates dangerous arcs and high-voltage inductive load surges of thousands of volts, and how the company’s solid-state power management solution digitally eliminates arc and suppress surge them—entirely.

“By combining Amber’s patented Indestructible AC Switch technology with Infineon’s leading silicon MOSFETs, we’ve proven that our designs enable nearly instantaneous digital surge suppression,” says Thar Casey Amber CEO. “The intelligent detection of overvoltage spikes enables our device to terminate the connection many thousands of times faster than a standard, conventional electro-mechanical switch. The super high speed of intelligent detection and termination prevents the surge from ever reaching damaging voltages and catastrophic failure of the device.”

“This breakthrough of Indestructible AC Switching in solid state also includes a second Amber technology for AC-direct extraction of DC directly from AC Mains,” says Casey. “Together these two sister technologies for the digital control of electricity in modern solid-state architecture form a powerful, new, solid-state based power management architecture. This new modern power management solution is transforming electrical engineering design possibilities for electrically powered products.”

Inductive load surges are inevitable in electromechanical switches, says the company, because the power remaining in the downstream wiring creates a kickback effect when the switch is turned off. When wiring is disconnected from feed power, it automatically releases any energy stored in the wire through its path of least resistance, which is the switch itself.

Today, an array of old-tech electromechanical components, which take up significant form factor space, are required to manage this event and can create dangerous arcs of high-energy plasma that reach thousands of degrees across the switch’s open contacts. Such typical surges and arcs cause deterioration of the switch’s mechanical components over time and introduce increasing fire risk. Solid-state AC switches have traditionally not been able to survive this hostile environment.

The company recently secured patents relating to DC extraction from the AC grid and digital intelligence-based AC switching. The patented technologies meet the UL 489i standard for solid-state circuit breakers and are designed to satisfy future IEC specifications for circuit breakers that will be implemented in 2025.

The video release follows the company’s recently announced strategic alliance with Infineon that aims to bring unique products to market and upgrade the power management architecture in specific product categories such as smart circuit breakers, light switches and outlets and newly secured patents. The company says that one of its core value statements is that digital control of electricity greatly expands the ability for product designers to add modern functionality to products, like artificial intelligence, and increase their value by enabling native integration and support for residential and commercial security, commercial fire control, access control, and building automation systems.

Amber Solutions

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‘Digital electricity’ startup looks to scale power offerings to buildings
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