Solar Market Outlook in Barbados
Barbados is emerging as a leader in the renewable energy industry in the Caribbean region. Due to the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, this has driven the government and economic leaders to strive for a more diverse economy. Shifting to renewable energy sources is a viable solution to this, which is why the government is investing more in renewable energy and in promoting sustainability.
Despite Barbados being a small island, it has taken significant steps toward transitioning into renewable energy. It targets to achieve 100% renewable energy consumption by 2030. This is an ambitious target but the government has obtained loans to build solar PVs for both industrial and residential installations.
The country is also geographically advantaged to allow it to exploit natural sources for renewable energy, particularly solar and wind. With more than 8 hours of sunshine per day, it’s no reason why Barbados cannot generate adequate solar power.
Another motivation for the government to switch to renewable energy sources is the high costs of producing electricity with crude oil. By reducing spending on fossil fuel, the government aims for an improved overall economy.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Barbados
Barbados is a small country so there are a limited number of suppliers and distributors within the island. Thankfully, there are global suppliers that export solar power equipment for those unable to build their own.
Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Barbados
Barbados is an island nation. This means that it is easily accessible by water and most of its logistics activity is done through its major seaports such as the Port of Bridgetown.
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.