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An integrated electronic DC power breaker is a compact and flexible device, optimized for monitoring and interrupting the power over low-voltage DC rails. For instance, STPW12, a programmable electronic power breaker for 12V buses, is able to control a 12V load employing up to 16 W.

When it is put in series with the power rail, it behaves as a low-resistance switch able to sense the input power and disconnect the load on its output, if the power consumption exceeds the programmed limit. The intervention of the power protection is signaled to the board monitoring circuits through an appropriate signal on the Fault pin. After a user-programmable delay, the device automatically tries to re-connect the load.

A dedicated monitor pin provides continuous information on the power The device can be enabled/disabled through a dedicated pin, and offers a PWM input for the implementation of a direct PWM mode

ST’s power breaker permits a novel approach to the design of power supply and distribution systems in certain applications, such as white goods and smart home appliances. In fact, it permits a very accurate and predictable power control of each load, along with a simple configuration, enabling a smart, compact and easy way to size the main power supply, cables, insolation material and protections.

Thanks to these features, ST’ power breakers help simplify the certification flow to comply with international safety regulations.

Other hot-swap ICs, such as programmable current limiters and controllers for external MOSFETs allow maximum configuration flexibility and provide protection to high-power DC rails such as those used in 24/48V industrial and telecom systems.