Creating Dynamic Equivalent Pv Circuit Models with Impedance Spectroscopy for Arc Fault Modeling


Article 690.11 in the 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires new photovoltaic (PV) systems on or penetrating a building to include a listed arc fault protection device. Currently there is little experimental or empirical research into the behavior of the arcing frequencies through PV components despite the potential for modules and other PV components to filter or attenuate arcing signatures that could render the arc detector ineffective. To model AC arcing signal propagation along PV strings, the well-studied DC diode models were found to inadequately capture the behavior of high frequency arcing signals. Instead dynamic equivalent circuit models of PV modules were required to describe the impedance for alternating currents in modules. The nonlinearities present in PV cells resulting from irradiance, temperature, frequency, and bias voltage variations make modeling these systems challenging. Linearized dynamic equivalent circuits were created for multiple PV module manufacturers and module technologies. The equivalent resistances and capacitances for the modules were determined using impedance spectroscopy with no bias voltage and no irradiance. The equivalent circuit model was employed to evaluate modules having irradiance conditions that could not be measured directly with the instrumentation. Although there was a wide range of circuit component values, the complex impedance model does not predict filtering of arc fault frequencies in PV strings for any irradiance level. Experimental results with no irradiance agree with the model and show nearly no attenuation for 1 Hz to 100 kHz input frequencies.

12 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Johnson2011CreatingDE, title={Creating Dynamic Equivalent Pv Circuit Models with Impedance Spectroscopy for Arc Fault Modeling}, author={Jay Johnson and David Schoenwald and Scott Kuszmaul and Jason Strauch and Ward Bower}, year={2011} }