Solar Market Outlook in the Bahamas
Bahamas is one of those countries that belong in what is so-called the “Hurricane Alley”. After many years of being hit by a hurricane, most of its power and electrical grid had been destroyed. This is why the Bahamas government is looking at renewable energy sources as a viable alternative and solar energy makes a valid case.
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas is leading the talks to focus more on empowering its solar energy market. Prior to this, the main energy source is with diesel-fueled generating stations that rely on overhead lines to feed power to the islands.
Due to the risk of storms and hurricanes, they are planning to build a solar grid that will be storm-proof. This push was started way back in 2017 and while the progress is slow, it is moving at a steady pace.
The long-term goal for the solar market in the Bahamas is to transform it into a green island. According to the government, while the country is small, they hope to set an example to the rest of the world that solar energy can be achieved.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in the Bahamas
With the continued commitment by the government to empower the solar energy market in the Bahamas, there are wide arrays of solar equipment suppliers that are available in the island. For those looking for more options, there are nearby countries that provide easy access to solar panels, solar components, and more.
Major Seaports & Logistics in the Bahamas
The shipping and logistics activity in the Bahamas is very much thriving. This makes it easy to access solar power equipment from suppliers in and out of the island.
The following seaports make it efficient to handle goods for solar power installations:
- Inagua Islands,
- South Riding Point
- Ocean Cay.
When installing a solar panel system, you have to be familiar with the electric breakers and how it works with a solar PV system to avoid future electric problems. The electric breaker is one of the main components of a solar power system that provides safety mechanisms. If ever the electrical wiring of your system has too much current flowing through it, these breakers can easily cut the power until your solar installer can fix the system’s problem.
For today’s article, we will discuss electric breakers and their function in solar photovoltaic systems.
What is an Electric Breaker?
An electric or circuit breaker is an electrical switch designed to protect electrical circuits from damage caused by overloading of current or a short circuit. The basic function of an electric breaker is to prevent the current flow once protective relays detect a fault in the system.
Although it is frequently interchanged with a fuse, which is the simplest Over Current Protection device (OCPD) in electrical circuits, a circuit breaker, is a much-evolved type of device that interrupts the current flow. The main difference between the two is electric breaker is resettable and the fuse is not. The fuse sacrifices itself while protecting the system to overheat, while the circuit breaker can withstand hundreds and thousands of operations. Another difference is that electric breakers are used with relatively higher currents.
Components of Circuit Breaker
A circuit breaker system is composed of three parts. These three components are the sensing system, relay, and the combination of contacts and the contact actuator. A sensing system is responsible for detecting an overload situation, while a relay is responsible for transferring the information to the switching arrangement, and the combination of contacts and the contact actuator. This electric arrangement is usually observed in power transmission and distribution networks dealing with very high currents, voltages, and powers.
Circuit Breakers Calculation in Solar Panel Systems
When connecting circuit breakers to the PV system, you have to follow the recommended calculations to avoid future problems and damage to the entire system. The recommendations for using overcurrent protection devices including circuit breakers in solar modules against overloading conditions are given in IEC 60269-6 (volume 6 of IEC 60269-6) and also UL 248-19.
For circuit breakers, IEC recommends a 20% and 25% margin in voltage and overload current. Most of the time, the ratings are specified by the solar manufacturers at given ambient conditions. If the temperatures exceed this given value, derating must be applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
When it comes to breaker sizes for solar panels, NEC requires the breakers to be sized at 125% of the inverter’s rated output. So a 7680W inverter that outputs 240V, outputs 32A (7680W ÷ 240V = 32A). That requires a 40A breaker (32A x 125% = 40A).
If you owned a solar panel system at home, you have to understand how circuit breakers work to prevent catching fires at home. These devices are one of the major components of the PV solar system as they protect the system wiring from getting too hot and accidentally catch fire if short circuits occurred. Thus, understanding the breaker itself and its proper calculations in the PV system should be done.