Amber Solutions, the young Silicon Valley company that is making the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture a commercial reality, released a video demonstration of one of its patented technologies — the Amber Indestructible AC Switch— successfully suppressing 450 inductive load surges (typically thousands of volts each) over 15 consecutive minutes to just 260 volts each. Every AC switch needs to be a protection device both for users and for the device itself. Until Amber, solid-state based AC switches could never survive the harsh electrical environment of the AC mains. Amber solid-state technologies are so advanced that they deliver the major advantages of smaller silicon chip-sized form factors, including advanced digital surge protection, arc free switching, increased switching speed by many thousands of times faster, and higher quality with enhanced reliability—even when paired with traditional electro-mechanical architecture, as shown in the video.
Amber's Indestructible AC Switch is a unique, patented breakthrough technology for AC switching in solid-state architecture that eliminates electromechanical switches and is fully protected from transient load issues such as inductance, capacitance, surge, over-voltage, over-current, etc. Such capabilities serve wide market sectors from consumer to commercial up to fully industrial grade solutions and include product applications such as outlets, dimmer switches, circuit breakers, surge protectors, GFCIs, AFCIs, and more.
In the video demonstration, using an oscilloscope to monitor electrical flow, Amber shows how a traditional electro-mechanical switch in circuit breakers creates dangerous arcs and high-voltage inductive load surges of thousands of volts, and how the company's breakthrough solid-state power management solution digitally eliminates arc and suppress surge them—entirely.
"By combining Amber's patented Indestructible AC Switch technology with Infineon's leading silicon MOSFETs, we've proven that our designs enable nearly instantaneous digital surge suppression," said Thar Casey Amber CEO. "The intelligent detection of overvoltage spikes enables our device to terminate the connection many thousands of times faster than a standard, conventional electromechanical switch. The super high speed of intelligent detection and termination prevents the surge from ever reaching damaging voltages and catastrophic failure of the device."
Casey continued, "This breakthrough of Indestructible AC Switching in solid state also includes a second Amber technology for AC-direct extraction of DC directly from AC Mains. Together these two sister technologies for the digital control of electricity in modern solid-state architecture form a powerful, new, solid-state based power management architecture. This new modern power management solution is transforming electrical engineering design possibilities for electrically powered products."
Amber explains in the video that inductive load surges are inevitable in electro-mechanical switches because the power remaining in the downstream wiring creates a kickback effect when the switch is turned off. When wiring is disconnected from feed power, it automatically releases any energy stored in the wire through its path of least resistance, which is the switch itself. Today, an array of old-tech electro-technical components, which take up significant form factor space, are required to manage this event and can create dangerous arcs of high-energy plasma that reach thousands of degrees across the switch's open contacts. Such typical surges and arcs cause deterioration of the switch's mechanical components over time and introduce increasing fire risk. Solid-state AC switches have traditionally not been able to survive this hostile environment—until Amber.
The video of Amber's revolutionary capabilities follows the company's several recently-secured patents relating to DC extraction from the AC grid and digital intelligence-based AC switching. The patented technologies meet the UL 489i standard for solid-state circuit breakers and are designed to satisfy future IEC specifications for circuit breakers that will be implemented in 2025.
Amber Founder, President and CEO Thar Casey noted that the company's repeated successes and secured patents have attracted partnerships with major global electrical products manufacturers.
"Amber is providing market-leading manufacturers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to develop the future of electrical products that enable digital intelligence to be deployed throughout every stage of a building's electrical and technology infrastructure, from the main circuit panel all the way to a light switch or control system panel," said Thar Casey. "As we and our partners continue to engineer modern solutions to modern issues, the scope of possibilities for intelligent digital control of electricity—and an indestructible solid-state AC switch—appears to be virtually limitless. This includes the capability to efficiently and easily add sensors and other IoT components to any electrical endpoint. These innovations may find their way into every type of electrical device from outlets and switches to appliances and light fixtures, and more."
The release of the video comes on the heels of Amber's recently announced strategic alliance with Infineon that aims to bring unique products to market and upgrade the power management architecture in specific product categories such as smart circuit breakers, light switches, outlets and newly secured patents. One of Amber's core value statements is that digital control of electricity greatly expands the ability for product designers to add modern functionality to products, like artificial intelligence, and increase their value by enabling native integration and support for residential and commercial security, commercial fire control, access control, and building automation systems.