(19)
(11)EP 1 921 531 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/38

(21)Application number: 07254405.9

(22)Date of filing:  07.11.2007
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G05F 1/569  (2006.01)
H02H 1/00  (2006.01)
H03K 17/08  (2006.01)
H02H 3/00  (2006.01)

(54)

Solid state power controller with lightning protection

Festkörperleistungsregler mit Blitzschutz

Contrôleur d'alimentation à l'état solide avec protection d'éclairage


(84)Designated Contracting States:
DE FR GB

(30)Priority: 07.11.2006 US 593736

(43)Date of publication of application:
14.05.2008 Bulletin 2008/20

(73)Proprietor: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1010 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Maier, Josef
    86754 Munningen (DE)

(74)Representative: Tomlinson, Kerry John 
Dehns St Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 0 474 611
WO-A-98/59420
US-A- 5 723 915
US-B1- 6 225 797
EP-A- 1 298 770
US-A- 5 440 441
US-B1- 6 169 425
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates to vehicle power systems and, more particularly, to solid state power controls.

    [0002] Vehicles, such as aircraft, typically utilize one or more power distribution units to distribute power from a primary power source to various vehicle systems. The solid state power controls in a power distribution unit typically include an electronic switch and electronic circuitry that provides wiring protection. The switch and circuitry are often referred to as a solid state power controller ("SSPC"). The SSPC has found widespread use because of its desirable status capability, reliability, and packaging density. A typical power distribution unit may include hundreds or thousands of SSPCs.

    [0003] SSPCs also must operate in the presence of lightning, which can adversely impact electronic devices. Traditionally, aircraft had an aluminum skin that attenuated the lightning current induced on the wires. Some aircraft now use composite materials instead of aluminum for weight and strength benefits. However, composite materials do not provide the same level of attenuation to lightning as aluminum. When lightning occurs, hundreds of volts may surge between a load in the vehicle system and the aircraft chassis. As such, the lightning requirements of SSPCs have increased.

    [0004] The increase in lightning levels poses a significant additional burden because the SSPC does not provide galvanic isolation in the off state, as would a typical electro-mechanical circuit for example. Instead, the SSPC uses the electronic switch for switching and an electronic control circuit to provide the circuit breaker function. If the SSPC is in an off state when lightning strikes, the large voltage potential will undesirably increase the voltage across the switch. An over-voltage clamp can be used to protect the switch from exceeding its maximum voltage capability. However, the increased power dissipation of the switch limits the amount of lightning energy that can be dissipated. Alternatively, high voltage FETs may be used to block the voltage in the off state, transient suppression devices can be placed across the FETs or more parallel FETs may be added, but these solutions are expensive, require larger packaging, and reduce reliability. If the SSPC is on when lightning strikes, the large voltage potential increases the current through the switch until the SSPC trips to the off state and dissipates the lightning energy as above. Tripping to the off state when lightning strikes is undesirable because current to the load is interrupted. In particular during a lightning strike the major number of SSPC's connected to an affected wire bundle potentially could trip off, thus resulting in the loss of a significant number of loads.

    [0005] Examples of prior art protection circuits for SSPC' s can be found in US5723915 and US6169425. There is a need for a simple, relatively inexpensive SSPC with improved lightning protection that avoids interruption of current when lightning strikes. This invention addresses those needs while avoiding the shortcomings and drawbacks of the prior art.

    [0006] WO 98/59420 discloses a method and circuit for protecting a field effect transistor unit used as a switch from a transient surge.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] The invention relates to a method of controlling a solid state power controller, comprising: determining whether a voltage across a solid state power control switch is within a predetermined voltage threshold wherein the predetermined voltage threshold is a range of voltage values; characterised in that the method further comprises: limiting, by a current limit module, an electric current through the solid state power control switch to a non-zero amount of the electric current when the voltage is outside of the predetermined voltage threshold; and selectively disabling the current limit module that limits the electric current through the solid state power control switch in response to an in-rush electric current coming from a load to permit the in-rush electric current through the solid state power control switch.

    [0008] The present invention also relates to a solid state power controller system comprising: a solid state power control switch that normally operates within a predetermined voltage threshold, wherein the predetermined voltage threshold is a range of voltage values; a microcontroller that controls the solid state power control switch; and a current limit module that controls the solid state power control switch; characterised in that the current limit module is operative to selectively limit an electric current through the solid state power control switch to a non-zero amount when a voltage across the solid state power control switch is outside of the predetermined voltage threshold, wherein the current limit module is selectively disabled in response to an in-rush electric current coming from a load to permit the in-rush electric current through the solid state power control switch.

    [0009] The predetermined voltage threshold may be a normal bus voltage of the SSPC.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] The various features and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows.

    Figure 1 illustrates selected portions of an example solid state power controller with lightning protection.

    Figure 2 illustrates examples of operation of the solid state power controller under various conditions.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT



    [0011] Figure 1 illustrates selected portions of an example solid state power controller (SSPC) 18 for use in a vehicle, such as an aircraft. Under some conditions, such as a lightning strike, a transient current may surge through the vehicle. The transient current may be, for example, an induced current, other known type of transient current, or a transient current from another source besides lightning. In the disclosed example, the SSPC 18 provides lightning protection to reduce the risk that the SSPC 18 becomes damaged from the transient current and prevent the SSPC 18 from tripping off when lightning strikes. Using high voltage FET's with a blocking voltage higher than the lightning strike induced voltage will also allow a SSPC in offstate to stay off, rather than bypassing the voltage through its voltage clamp. As will be appreciated from the illustration and the following description, the SSPC 18 of the disclosed examples provides lightning protection without significant packaging density, reliability, or cost penalty. Although the SSPC 18 is a direct current type in the disclosed examples, one of ordinary skill in the art who has the benefit of this disclosure will recognize that the disclosed examples are also applicable to alternating current type SSPCs.

    [0012] In this example, the SSPC 18 includes a logic section 32 and a power section 34. The logic section 32 includes a power supply 20, which provides power to a microcontroller 38 that controls operation of the SSPC 18. Power supply 20 is connected both to ground and to a power source 22. The microcontroller 38 interfaces with a gate drive 40 (e.g., a power MOSFET), a switch 42 (e.g., a FET), an instantaneous trip module 44, and a current limit module 46. In one example, the instantaneous trip module 44 operates in a known manner to trip the SSPC from an ON state to an OFF state in response to an electrical fault. As shown, the microcontroller 38 measures the electrical current flow through the SSPC 18 using resistor 48 and measures the voltage across the switch using line 50 connected at the switch 42. Although only one switch 42 is shown in this example, multiple switches 42 may be used in the same manner as described.

    [0013] The microcontroller 38 and current limit module 46 control current through the switch 42 using the gate drive 40. For example, the microcontroller 38 and the current limit module 46 control a gate voltage in a known manner to control the current through the switch 42. In the disclosed example, the current limit module 46 includes an operational amplifier 52 that senses current and regulates the gate voltage to selectively limit the current through the switch 42, as will be described below.

    [0014] The instantaneous trip module 44 includes associated instantaneous trip logic and the current limit module 46 includes an associated lightning logic. The logic is executed using software, hardware, or a combination thereof. The SSPC 18 responds in a predetermined way to a particular electrical event, depending on the magnitude of the voltage across the switch 42 and a preset instantaneous current trip threshold associated with the instantaneous trip module 44.

    [0015] Currents larger than the instantaneous trip threshold are possible with loads that have transient voltage suppression (e.g., shunts) or loads that are highly capacitive in nature or at faults in the load circuitry, including but not limited to the wiring. In the disclosed example, the switch 42 includes a voltage clamp circuitry that protects the switch 42 in a known manner from certain voltage transients when the SSPC 18 is in the OFF state. The voltage clamp activates in a linear region to dissipate energy to thereby absorb transient voltages above the FET breakdown voltage. For a DC application, the switch 42 thereby blocks the current to a load output (for voltages below a breakdown voltage of the switch 42) but allows current in reverse direction. For an AC application, the switch 42 thereby blocks the current relative to the load output in both directions. In the ON state and outside of the instantaneous trip threshold, the current limit module 46 and its associated logic protect the SSPC 18 from transient current without tripping to the OFF state, as will be described below.

    [0016] The following examples illustrate the operation of the instantaneous trip module 44 and the current limit module 46 under various example conditions and are in no way intended to be limiting. The disclosed examples are based upon the premise that if the SSPC 18 is in the OFF state when a transient current occurs, the SSPC 18 is kept in the OFF state. If the SSPC 18 is in the ON state when a transient current occurs, the SSPC 18 stays ON and limits the transient current passing to the load to thereby protect against formation of a fusible link, destruction of the switch 42, and interruption of the current to the load, for example. The below examples are intended only to illustrate concepts of the instantaneous trip module 44 and the current limit module 46, and one of ordinary skill who is given this description will recognize application of the concepts to other examples.

    [0017] Figure 2 illustrates the operation of the SSPC 18 under various conditions. In Figure 2, "Load Current" represents the amount of electric current passing through the switch 42. "Switch Voltage" represents the voltage across the switch 42. "Current Limit Signal to dsPIC" represents a status of a signal from the current limit module 46 to the microcontroller 38 (e.g., dsPIC) indicating whether the current limit module 46 is actively limiting the current or not. "Current Limit Enable From dsPIC" represents a status of a control signal from the microcontroller 38 to the current limit module 46 indicating whether the current limit module 46 is enabled or disabled for limiting the current.

    [0018] In the disclosed examples, the microcontroller 38 determines whether the voltage across the switch 42 is within a predetermined voltage threshold. In this example, the predetermined voltage threshold is a range between 0V and 28V, which corresponds to normal and abnormal bus voltages (including transients within the power quality specification of the power source) of the SSPC 18. It is to be understood that in other examples the predetermined voltage threshold may be set for a different range or value, depending upon the normal operation of the particular SSPC or other selected parameter. When enabled, the current limit module 46 limits the current through the switch 42 to a non-zero amount when the voltage is outside of the predetermined voltage threshold.

    [0019] In one example designated as 70, initially (as indicated at the left side in Figure 2) the Switch Voltage is 0V, the Load Current is 100% (e.g., relative to a maximum rated current of the switch 42), and the current limit module 46 is enabled and inactive. Moving toward the right in Figure 2, an applied in-rush increases the current through the SSPC 18. For example, in-rush current is typical from aircraft loads and it is desirable in this example to permit the in-rush current through the SSPC 18 without limiting the current or tripping the SSPC 18 into the OFF state. The Switch Voltage increases from 0V to 28V due to the in-rush current, and the Load Current increases. In this example, the current limit module 46 status is enabled and initially activates to thereby limit the in-rush current to 200%. However, after the microcontroller 38 determines that the Switch Voltage is within the predetermined voltage threshold, the microcontroller 38 disables the current limit module 46 such that the current limit module 46 is inactive to thereby permit the current through the switch 42. In practice, the time before the microcontroller makes the determination may be inconsequentially small. Thus, when the Switch Voltage is within a normal range as indicated by the predetermined voltage threshold, the current is allowed to pass through the switch 42.

    [0020] In another example designated as 72, initially the Switch Voltage is 0V, the Load Current is 100%, and the current limit module 46 is enabled and inactive. Moving toward the right, a fault event occurs (e.g., a short) and causes the Load Current to increase above the preset instantaneous trip threshold associated with the instantaneous trip module 44. The Switch Voltage first increases from 0V to 28V and then inductively increases above 28V due to the fault event combined with the wire inductance acting as an energy storage, and the Load Current increases above 100%. In this example, the current limit module 46 status is enabled and initially activates to limit the current to 200%. However, after the microcontroller 38 and the instantaneous trip module 44 determine that the fault event has occurred, the microcontroller 38 disables the current limit module 46 and the instantaneous trip module 44 switches the SSPC 18 to the OFF state. In practice, the time before the microcontroller 38 and instantaneous trip module 44 act may be inconsequentially small. Thus, when the Load Current exceeds the preset instantaneous trip threshold, the instantaneous trip module 44 trips the SSPC 18 into the OFF state.

    [0021] In another example designated as 74, a lightning event occurs and causes the Switch Voltage to periodically increase above 28V. At 76 the Switch Voltage increases above 28V. The current limit module 46 status is enabled and activates to limit the current to 200% when the Switch Voltage is above 28V. As the Switch Voltage decreases back to 28V or below, the current limit module 46 switches to the inactive state until the Switch Voltage again increases above 28V at 78. The current limit module 46 again activates to limit the current to 200% when the Switch Voltage is above 28V. Thus, when the Switch Voltage is outside of the normal range and the current limit module 46 is enabled, the current limit module 46 limits the current through the switch 42. This provides the benefit of avoiding tripping into the OFF state during the lightning event and thereby blocking lightning pulses without interrupting the load output.

    [0022] The above example describes use of the current limit module 46 for DC applications, however, the concepts described can also be applied to AC applications. For example, for AC the current limit module 46 limits the current in each alternating direction through the switch 42 rather than in one direction as described above for DC.

    [0023] Limiting the current to 200% of the maximum rated current of the switch 42 in the disclosed example provides the benefit of avoiding thermal overload of the SSPC 18, which may damage the SSPC 18. In this example, the limit of 200% is based upon an amount of heat expected to be produced by the switch 42 at 200% Load Current and an amount of that heat that can be removed from the switch 42 while maintaining a desired level of operation. In one example, the current limit is based upon the amount of silicon in the SSPC 18 and amount of cooling provided to the SSPC 18 to remove the heat. Therefore, the selected current limit can be varied from the disclosed example, depending upon the particular heating and cooling parameters of an SSPC.

    [0024] Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.


    Claims

    1. A method of controlling a solid state power controller (18), comprising:

    determining whether a voltage across a solid state power control switch (42) is within a predetermined voltage threshold wherein the predetermined voltage threshold is a range of voltage values;

    characterised in that the method further comprises:

    limiting, by a current limit module (46), an electric current through the solid state power control switch to a non-zero amount of the electric current when the voltage is outside of the predetermined voltage threshold; and

    selectively disabling the current limit module (46) that limits the electric current through the solid state power control switch (42) in response to an in-rush electric current coming from a load to permit the in-rush electric current through the solid state power control switch (42).


     
    2. The method as recited in claim 1, including establishing the non-zero amount as a predetermined percentage of a rated maximum current of the solid state power control switch (42).
     
    3. The method as recited in claim 1 or 2, including establishing the non-zero amount as 200% of a rated maximum current of the solid state power control switch (42).
     
    4. The method as recited in claim 1, including establishing the non-zero amount based upon an amount of heat expected to be produced by the solid state power control switch (42) at the non-zero amount.
     
    5. The method as recited in claim 1, 2, 3 or 4 including switching the solid state power control switch (42) from an ON state to an OFF state to block the electric current when the electric current is above a threshold electric current.
     
    6. The method as recited in any preceding claim, including maintaining the solid state power control switch (42) in an ON state to permit current through the solid state power control switch in response to limiting the electric current.
     
    7. The method as recited in any preceding claim, including limiting the electric current in a first direction relative to a load, and permitting the electric current through the solid state power control switch (42) in a second direction relative to the load for a DC waveform of the electric current.
     
    8. The method as recited in any of claims 1 to 6, including limiting the electric current in a first direction relative to a load and a second, different direction relative to the load for an AC waveform of the electric current.
     
    9. A solid state power controller system (18) comprising:

    a solid state power control switch (42) that normally operates within a predetermined voltage threshold, wherein the predetermined voltage threshold is a range of voltage values;

    a microcontroller (38) that controls the solid state power control switch; and

    a current limit module (46) that controls the solid state power control switch;

    characterised in that the current limit module is operative to selectively limit an electric current through the solid state power control switch to a non-zero amount when a voltage across the solid state power control switch is outside of the predetermined voltage threshold, wherein the current limit module is selectively disabled in response to an in-rush electric current coming from a load to permit the in-rush electric current through the solid state power control switch.


     
    10. The system as recited in claim 9, further comprising a gate drive (40) that interfaces with each of the microcontroller (38) and the current limit module (46) to selectively control the electric current through the switch.
     
    11. The system as recited in claim 9 or 10, wherein the solid state power control switch (42) comprises a FET.
     
    12. The system as recited in claim 9, 10 or 11, wherein the current limit module comprises an operational amplifier (52).
     
    13. The system as recited in claim 9, further comprising a gate drive (40) having a MOSFET connected to the solid state power control switch (42), the microcontroller, and the current limit module for controlling the electric current through the solid state power control switch.
     
    14. The system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a trip module (44) connected with the controller (38) and the gate drive (40) for selectively switching the solid state power control switch (42) between an ON state and an OFF state to selectively block the electric current when the electric current is above a threshold electric current.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Steuern eines Festkörperleistungsreglers (18), umfassend:

    Bestimmen, ob eine Spannung an einem Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) innerhalb eines vorbestimmten Spannungsbereichs liegt, wobei der vorbestimmte Spannungsbereich eine Reihe von Spannungswerten ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verfahren weiterhin Folgendes umfasst:

    Begrenzen durch ein Strombegrenzermodul (46) eines elektrischen Stroms durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter auf eine Menge elektrischen Stroms ungleich Null, wenn die Spannung außerhalb des vorbestimmten Spannungsbereichs liegt; und

    selektives Deaktivieren des Strombegrenzermoduls (46), das den elektrischen Strom durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) begrenzt, in Antwort auf einen einfließenden, von einem Verbraucher kommenden elektrischen Strom, um zuzulassen, dass der einfließende elektrische Strom durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) fließt.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, einschließlich Festlegen der Menge ungleich Null als vorbestimmten Prozentsatz eines maximalen Nennstroms des Festkörperleistungsregelschalters (42).
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, einschließlich Festlegen der Menge ungleich Null als 200 % eines maximalen Nennstroms des Festkörperleistungsregelschalters (42).
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, einschließlich Festlegen der Menge ungleich Null auf Grundlage einer Wärmemenge, deren Erzeugung durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) bei der Menge ungleich Null erwartet wird.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, 2, 3 oder 4, einschließlich Schalten des Festkörperleistungsregelschalters (42) aus einer AN-Stellung in eine AUS-Stellung, um den elektrischen Strom zu blockieren, wenn der elektrische Strom über einem Grenzwert für elektrischen Strom liegt.
     
    6. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, einschließlich Beibehalten des Festkörperleistungsregelschalters (42) in einer AN-Stellung, um zuzulassen, dass Strom in Antwort auf das Begrenzen des elektrischen Stroms durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter fließt.
     
    7. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, einschließlich Begrenzen des elektrischen Stroms in einer ersten Richtung relativ zu einem Verbraucher und Zulassen, dass der elektrische Strom in einer zweiten Richtung relativ zu dem Verbraucher durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) fließt, um einen Gleichstrom-Kurvenverlauf des elektrischen Stroms zu erhalten.
     
    8. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, einschließlich Begrenzen des elektrischen Stroms in einer ersten Richtung relativ zu einem Verbraucher und in einer zweiten, unterschiedlichen Richtung relativ zu dem Verbraucher, um einen Wechselstrom-Kurvenverlauf des elektrischen Stroms zu erhalten.
     
    9. Festkörperleistungsreglersystem (18), umfassend:

    einen Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42), der normalerweise innerhalb eines vorbestimmten Spannungsbereichs betrieben wird, wobei der vorbestimmte Spannungsbereich eine Reihe von Spannungswerten ist;

    einen Mikrocontroller (38), der den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter steuert; und

    ein Strombegrenzermodul (46), das den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter steuert;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Festkörperleistungsregelschalter dafür wirksam ist, einen elektrischen Strom durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter auf eine Menge elektrischen Stroms ungleich Null zu begrenzen, wenn eine Spannung an dem Festkörperleistungsregelschalter außerhalb des vorbestimmten Spannungsbereichs liegt, wobei das Strombegrenzermodul in Antwort auf einen einfließenden, von einem Verbraucher kommenden elektrischen Strom selektiv deaktiviert wird, um zuzulassen, dass der einfließende elektrische Strom durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter fließt.


     
    10. System nach Anspruch 9, weiterhin umfassend eine Ansteuerung (40), die mit jedem des Mikrocontrollers (38) und des Strombegrenzermoduls (46) verbunden ist, um den elektrischen Strom durch den Schalter selektiv zu steuern.
     
    11. System nach Anspruch 9 oder 10, wobei der Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) einen FET umfasst.
     
    12. System nach Anspruch 9, 10 oder 11, wobei das Strombegrenzermodul einen Operationsverstärker (52) umfasst.
     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, weiterhin umfassend eine Ansteuerung (40), die einen mit dem Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42), dem Mikrocontroller und dem Strombegrenzermodul verbundenen MOSFET aufweist, um den elektrischen Strom durch den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter zu regeln.
     
    14. System nach Anspruch 13, weiterhin umfassend ein Auslösemodul (44), das mit dem Controller (38) und der Ansteuerung (40) verbunden ist, um den Festkörperleistungsregelschalter (42) selektiv zwischen einer AN-Stellung und einer AUS-Stellung zu schalten, um den elektrischen Strom selektiv zu blockieren, wenn der elektrische Strom über einem Grenzwert für elektrischen Strom liegt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de commande d'un contrôleur d'alimentation à l'état solide (18), comprenant :

    la détermination si une tension à travers un commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) est à l'intérieur d'un seuil de tension prédéterminé dans lequel le seuil de tension prédéterminé est une plage de valeurs de tension ;

    caractérisé en ce que le procédé comprend en outre :

    la limitation, par un module de limitation de courant (46), d'un courant électrique à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide à une quantité non nulle du courant électrique lorsque la tension est en dehors du seuil de tension prédéterminé ; et

    la désactivation sélective du module de limitation de courant (46) qui limite le courant électrique à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) en réponse à un courant électrique d'appel provenant d'une charge pour permettre le courant électrique d'appel à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42).


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant l'établissement de la quantité non nulle comme un pourcentage prédéterminé d'un courant maximum nominal du commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42).
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1 ou 2, comprenant l'établissement de la quantité non nulle comme 200 % d'un courant maximum nominal du commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42).
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant l'établissement de la quantité non nulle sur la base d'une quantité de chaleur qui devrait être produite par le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) à la quantité non nulle.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, 2, 3 ou 4 comprenant la commutation du commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) d'un état ON à un état OFF pour bloquer le courant électrique lorsque le courant électrique est supérieur à un seuil de courant électrique
     
    6. Procédé selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant le maintien du commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) dans un état ON pour laisser passer du courant à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide en réponse à la limitation du courant électrique.
     
    7. Procédé selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant la limitation du courant électrique dans une première direction par rapport à une charge, et le passage du courant électrique à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) dans une deuxième direction par rapport à la charge pour une forme d'onde DC du courant électrique.
     
    8. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, comprenant la limitation du courant électrique dans une première direction par rapport à une charge et une deuxième direction différente par rapport à la charge pour une forme d'onde AC du courant électrique.
     
    9. Système de contrôleur d'alimentation à l'état solide (18) comprenant :

    un commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) qui fonctionne normalement à l'intérieur d'un seuil de tension prédéterminé, dans lequel le seuil de tension prédéterminé est une plage de valeurs de tension ;

    un microcontrôleur (38) qui commande le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide ; et

    un module de limitation de courant (46) qui commande le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide ;

    caractérisé en ce que le module de limitation de courant fonctionne pour limiter de façon sélective un courant électrique à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide à une quantité non nulle lorsqu'une tension à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide est en dehors du seuil de tension prédéterminé, dans lequel le module de limitation de courant est désactivé de façon sélective en réponse à un courant électrique d'appel provenant d'une charge pour permettre le courant électrique d'appel à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide.


     
    10. Système selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre une commande de grille (40) qui interface avec chacun du microcontrôleur (38) et du module de limitation de courant (46) pour commander de façon sélective le courant électrique à travers le commutateur.
     
    11. Système selon la revendication 9 ou 10, dans lequel le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) comprend un FET.
     
    12. Système selon la revendication 9, 10 ou 11, dans lequel le module de limitation de courant comprend un amplificateur opérationnel (52).
     
    13. Système selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre une commande de grille (40) ayant un MOSFET relié au commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42), au microcontrôleur, et au module de limitation de courant pour commander le courant électrique à travers le commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide.
     
    14. Système selon la revendication 13, comprenant en outre un module déclencheur (44) relié au contrôleur (38) et à la commande de grille (40) pour la commutation sélective du commutateur de commande d'alimentation à l'état solide (42) entre un état ON et un état OFF pour le blocage sélectif du courant électrique lorsque le courant électrique est supérieur à un courant électrique de seuil.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description