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Over-voltage protection system and method

United States Patent

9,640,982
May 2, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An over-voltage protection system includes an electronic valve connected across two terminals of a circuit and an over-voltage detection circuit connected across one of the plurality of semiconductor devices for detecting an over-voltage across the circuit. The electronic valve includes a plurality of semiconductor devices connected in series. The over-voltage detection circuit includes a voltage divider circuit connected to a break-over diode in a way to provide a representative low voltage to the break-over diode and an optocoupler configured to receive a current from the break-over diode when the representative low voltage exceeds a threshold voltage of the break-over diode indicating an over-voltage condition. The representative low voltage provided to the break-over diode represents a voltage across the one semiconductor device. A plurality of self-powered gate drive circuits are connected to the plurality of semiconductor devices, wherein the plurality of self-powered gate drive circuits receive over-voltage triggering pulses from the optocoupler during the over-voltage condition and switch on the plurality of semiconductor devices to bypass the circuit.
Chi; Song (Clifton Park, NY), Dong; Dong (Schenectady, NY), Lai; Rixin (San Jose, CA)
General Electric Company (Niskayuna, NY)
14/ 533,762
November 5, 2014
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with Government support under sub contract number 08121-2901-01 of prime contract number DE-AC26-07NT42677 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.