Company Overview: 

Guardian Sensors, Inc. (GSI) provides solar system fire protection for connectors and cables through pre-arc fault detection.

Problem Addressed: 

Solar arrays installed today do not have any built-in protection from the fires and human hazards of DC electrical faults because there is no product on the market that complies with Article 690-11 of 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC), requiring systems to “detect and interrupt arcing faults resulting from a failure of system components.”

GSI has developed products and services for the solar energy market that are the first to automatically and proactively protect from photovoltaic (PV) arc-faults.

The Solar Guardian® products provide NEC-compliant (Article 690-11) products for intervention against DC arcs in solar arrays and serves as an important element of overall solar industry risk management.

Solar arc faults have been determined serious enough that the National Fire Protection Association has added Article 690-11 to the National Electric Code that requires that:

All solar arrays shall have the ability to detect and interrupt arcing faults resulting from a failure in the intended continuity of a conductor [wiring], connection, module [panel], or other system components.

Photovoltaic systems with dc source circuits, dc output circuits, or both, operating at a PV system maximum system voltage of 80 volts or greater, shall by protected by a listed (dc) arc-fault circuit interrupter, PV type, or other system components listed to provide equivalent protection. The PV arc-fault protection means shall comply with the following requirements:

  1. The system shall detect and interrupt arcing faults resulting from a failure in the intended continuity of a conductor, connection, module, or other system component in the dc PV source and dc PV output circuits.
  2. The system shall require that the disabled or disconnected equipment be manually restarted.
  3. The system shall have an annunciator that provides a visual indication that the circuit interrupter has operated. This indication shall not reset automatically.

*The arc-fault protective device used to meet this requirement must be listed for dc use and listed for use in PV systems. Listed components that provide protection equivalent to arc-fault protection are also permitted by this requirement.

The Solar Guardian® products offer a viable, inexpensive solution by preventing an arc from happening in balance of system wiring.

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