US 9,812,868 B2
Smart junction box for photovoltaic solar power modules with safe mode and related method of operation
Steven Andrew Robbins, Calabasas, CA (US)
Assigned to Sunfield Semiconductor Inc.
Filed by Steven Andrew Robbins, Calabasas, CA (US)
Filed on Dec. 2, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/956,856.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/087,160, filed on Dec. 3, 2014.
Prior Publication US 2016/0164457 A1, Jun. 9, 2016
Int. Cl. H02J 3/00 (2006.01); H02J 3/38 (2006.01); H02S 40/34 (2014.01); H02J 1/10 (2006.01); H02M 3/04 (2006.01)
CPC H02J 3/383 (2013.01) [H02J 1/10 (2013.01); H02M 3/04 (2013.01); H02S 40/34 (2014.12); Y02E 10/563 (2013.01); Y02P 80/11 (2015.11); Y02P 80/23 (2015.11)] 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A smart junction box for a photovoltaic solar power module, comprising:
a positive terminal and a negative terminal for connecting the solar power module to a solar array;
a transmitter circuit for transmitting at least a shut-down signal and a restart signal;
a receiver circuit for receiving at least the shut-down and restart signals produced by the transmitter circuits in other smart junction boxes in the solar array;
a nonvolatile memory having at least a first state and a second state and arranged to:
transition to the first state in response to the receiver circuit receiving the shut-down signal; and
transition to the second state in response to the receiver circuit receiving the restart signal;
a plurality of bypass circuits serially connected between the positive and negative terminals, each bypass circuit comprising:
a bypass diode disposed to protect a group of photovoltaic cells from reverse bias,
an electronically controlled switch connected in parallel with the bypass diode, and
a control circuit for at least closing the electronically controlled switch while the nonvolatile memory is in the first state; and
a power supply circuit arranged to receive power from the positive and negative terminals for providing energy to at least the transmitter, receiver, nonvolatile memory, and control circuits.