Why Functional Safety Matters in Renewable Energy Applications
Functional safety refers to part(s) of a system that must function correctly to maintain safe operation of that overall system. Examples of functional safety include a battery management system (BMS) that monitors voltage, current, and temperature inside a lithium-ion battery, solar photovoltaic (PV) rapid shutdown devices used to ensure a PV / solar installation is off when placed into a rapid shutdown mode, and electronic throttle control (ETC) in a passenger vehicle.
Functional safety can be provided by electronics, software and other technologies, including hydraulic or mechanical. While not usually thought of as such, overcurrent and overtemperature protection devices such as fuses, thermal cut-offs (TCOs), and circuit breakers are actually functional safety devices as they ensure the safety of their overall system.
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