AN521 Interfacing to AC Power Lines Author: Doug Cox Microchip Technology Inc. FIGURE 1: PIC16C5X SERIES INPUT PROTECTION CIRCUIT ON I/O PINS VDD INTRODUCTION This application note describes a simple method for measuring parameters from the AC power line. Parameters such as zero crossing, frequency, and relative phase can be measured. This method is useful for measurements on 50, 60, and 400 Hz power systems with voltages up to several hundred volts. The method requires only one external component, a resistor, and is more reliable than previously published methods using capacitors or bulky, expensive transformers. APPLICATIONS P I/O pin N VSS Input buffer Simplified structure of an I/O pin. This measurement method can be used in any application where power line parameters are used for system measurements or control. Typical applications are; switch timing (what part of the power cycle should the system be activated), power factor correction, power measurement, and power line monitor. An additional application is to generate timing or clock functions using the relatively stable power line frequency. This method is also useful for calibrating oscillator frequency for accurate timing measurements when an inaccurate reference such as an RC oscillator is used to clock the PIC16C5X. The least expensive method to limit current is to use a high value resistor. A block diagram is shown in Figure 2. The power line voltage is current limited by the resistor and then clamped by the input protection diodes internal to the PIC16C5X. A typical input waveform is shown in Figure 5. A 115 VAC, 60 cycle sine wave will traverse from 0 to 2V in 32 µs, therefore a typical threshold of 2V on a PIC16C5X I/O port will permit zero crossing detection accuracy of about 30 µs. If the typical capacitance on an I/O pin is 5 pF, then R should be (t = RC) 6 MΩ or less for best zero crossing accuracy. A 5 MΩ resistor with 115 VAC applied to it will limit current to 32 µA, a value which is well within the safety margin of the PIC16C5X. THEORY OF OPERATION FIGURE 2: This application takes advantage of the input static protection circuitry that exists on all I/O pins of a CMOS PIC16C5X. These protection circuits are designed to short the inputs to the power supplies when a large overvoltage is applied, thus protecting the chip from static electricity spikes. On PIC16C5X microcontrollers, this protection circuit is two large P-N diodes on each input (Figure 1). These diodes will short any voltage higher than VDD to the VDD supply and any voltage less than VSS to the VSS supply. They can take several milliamps of current without any damage to the chip. High voltages can be applied directly to the chip inputs as long as they are current limited. 1997 Microchip Technology Inc. 110 VAC High LIMITING CURRENT USING AN EXTERNAL RESISTOR R = 5 MΩ RA0 PIC16C5X IPEAK = 162V/5 MΩ = 32 µA DS00521C-page 1 AN521 The user needs to be aware that the circuit required to connect the T0CKI input to an AC power line is slightly different than the other I/O pins. Each of the I/O pins has two diodes for input protection whereas the T0CKI pin has only one protection diode connected to Vss (Figure 3). Therefore, it is necessary to connect a diode externally between the T0CKI pin and VDD in order to clamp the voltage on the T0CKI pin to VDD + 0.6V (approximately). See Figure 4. It is also recommended that resistor R be at least 2 MΩ. FIGURE 3: A short is the most unlikely failure mode for a resistor, and resistors are more reliable than transformers or capacitors, which are the alternate components for measuring line parameters. This reliability can be enhanced even further by using two resistors in series. Both would have to fail short to cause catastrophic failure, a very unlikely event. The second possible failure mode is that excessive injection of current into the PIC16C5X might cause the protection diode to open. This would allow the input to go to power line peak voltage (162V) and short the input transistor gate oxide, causing device failure. The maximum continuous injection current into an I/O pin is specified at ± 500 µA. INPUT STRUCTURE OF MCLR AND T0CKI PINS T0CKI & MCLR pins N Input buffer FIGURE 4: CONNECTING AN AC POWER LINE TO THE T0CKI PIN VDD Simplified structure of T0CKI and MCLR pins. Grounded gate NMOS device provides ESD and overvoltage protection. T0CKI R RELIABILITY PIC16C5X Reliability of production devices that are directly connected to AC power is always a concern. Two failure modes are possible. First, the series resistor of Figure 1 might fail short, destroying the microcontroller. FIGURE 5: Connecting to TMR0 input. R ≥ 2 MΩ INPUT WAVEFORM -25.0000 msec Ch. 1 = Timebase = Ch. 1 Parameters Rise Time = Fall Time = P-P Volts = 0.00000 msec 1.000 volts/div 5.00 msec/div 184.001 µsec 174.005 µsec 6.187 volts Freq. + Width Preshoot RMS Volts = = = = 59.9797 Hz 8.26099 msec 0.000 volts 3.894 volts 25.0000 msec Offset Delay Period - Width Overshoot Duty cycle = = = = = = 3.000 volts 0.00000 sec 16.6723 msec 8.41132 msec 0.000 volts 49.54 % Waveform at part pin (RA0) •R = 100k; Line: 60 Hz, 110V DS00521C-page 2 1997 Microchip Technology Inc. Note the following details of the code protection feature on PICmicro® MCUs. • • • • • • The PICmicro family meets the specifications contained in the Microchip Data Sheet. Microchip believes that its family of PICmicro microcontrollers is one of the most secure products of its kind on the market today, when used in the intended manner and under normal conditions. There are dishonest and possibly illegal methods used to breach the code protection feature. All of these methods, to our knowledge, require using the PICmicro microcontroller in a manner outside the operating specifications contained in the data sheet. The person doing so may be engaged in theft of intellectual property. Microchip is willing to work with the customer who is concerned about the integrity of their code. Neither Microchip nor any other semiconductor manufacturer can guarantee the security of their code. Code protection does not mean that we are guaranteeing the product as “unbreakable”. Code protection is constantly evolving. We at Microchip are committed to continuously improving the code protection features of our product. If you have any further questions about this matter, please contact the local sales office nearest to you. Information contained in this publication regarding device applications and the like is intended through suggestion only and may be superseded by updates. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application meets with your specifications. No representation or warranty is given and no liability is assumed by Microchip Technology Incorporated with respect to the accuracy or use of such information, or infringement of patents or other intellectual property rights arising from such use or otherwise. Use of Microchip’s products as critical components in life support systems is not authorized except with express written approval by Microchip. No licenses are conveyed, implicitly or otherwise, under any intellectual property rights. Trademarks The Microchip name and logo, the Microchip logo, FilterLab, KEELOQ, microID, MPLAB, PIC, PICmicro, PICMASTER, PICSTART, PRO MATE, SEEVAL and The Embedded Control Solutions Company are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. and other countries. dsPIC, ECONOMONITOR, FanSense, FlexROM, fuzzyLAB, In-Circuit Serial Programming, ICSP, ICEPIC, microPort, Migratable Memory, MPASM, MPLIB, MPLINK, MPSIM, MXDEV, PICC, PICDEM, PICDEM.net, rfPIC, Select Mode and Total Endurance are trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. Serialized Quick Turn Programming (SQTP) is a service mark of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. All other trademarks mentioned herein are property of their respective companies. © 2002, Microchip Technology Incorporated, Printed in the U.S.A., All Rights Reserved. Printed on recycled paper. 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