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    Solar

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Barbados

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.

Rapid Shutdowns

Rapid Shutdown

If you got your first solar panel system installed in your house, chances are you will see a box with an on/off switch that says “rapid shutdown.” But do you have any idea what does it mean or why is it important to know when installing a solar panel system at home? 

In today’s article, we will provide you with an overview of rapid shutdown requirements, and everything you need to know about it. 

What is Rapid Shutdown?

Rapid shutdown is an electrical safety regulation that requires every solar panel system to set the solar panel shut-off switch. The National Electrical Code (NEC) introduced it to the public in 2014 with the aim to provide a simple way for firefighters to quickly cut off the current in the DC conductors of the rooftop solar panel systems. It is basically set to make sure that the roof of a building is safe from fire. Usually, when the standard inverter of a solar system is switched off, the DC wiring, from the solar unit, still runs particularly when the sun is up.

Why is Rapid Shutdown Requirement Implemented?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides rapid shutdown requirements and writes them to the NEC to ensure safety measures. Your home may not catch fire so you don’t have to worry about rapid shutdown functionality. However, if it accidentally happens, firefighters can easily use rapid shutdown solutions to de-energize your solar panel system. 

Remember that simply turning off the solar inverter doesn’t shut down the unit. Turning it off may not power off some inverter setups, wires, and circuits, increasing the risk of electric shock. But if you have a rapid shutdown device, then you can easily power off the entire unit, reducing the electrical voltage of your solar panel system in less than a minute. Generally, the rapid shutdown code set the standard to quickly reduce the voltage of any conductors.

Is Rapid Shutdown Required?

Rapid shutdown is a safety measure of the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC releases a new or updated set of requirements for safe electrical systems every three consecutive years. Technically speaking, the rapid shutdown is not required everywhere in the United States, although it’s a good idea to install a solar panel system with a rapid shutdown switch. 

Another important thing to note is the NEC is not federally mandated, so individual states can freely choose to follow and abide by the code within their time frame and discretion. Some states choose an independent, state-wide electrical code instead.

Should You Comply with the Rapid Shutdown Regulation?

Generally, solar power systems without rapid shutdown switches are not totally unsafe to first fire responders. If you have a solar power system installed before the implementation of the rapid shutdown, it is less likely to expose your building to more risk. As long as your solar installer is well-experienced with the job, you have nothing to worry about.

However, if you want to be safe and secured, and for your peace of mind, it’s certainly worthwhile to follow the rapid shutdown requirement. Most of the time your installers are highly educated when it comes to changing codes for your state. They also can design your solar power system that can easily comply with all rapid shutdown requirements.