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Costa Rica

A brief review of Costa Rica’s solar market outlook

Costa Rica, a Central American country, has achieved impressive renewable energy capacity in recent years. In 2019, the nation’s renewable energy share hit 99.15%. Looking at this renewable energy share capacity, one may assume that its solar capacity is equally impressive. Unfortunately, that assumption is inaccurate.

Solar market share statistics revealed that Costa Rica’s installed solar capacity stood at 5.4 Megawatts at the end of 2019. This figure accounts for only 0.08% of the Central American nation’s cumulative energy capacity. Any solar expert will agree that this is a severe course for concern.

However, things are looking up for Costa Rica’s nascent solar market. In June 2021, the Costa Rican government commenced bids for a large-scale photovoltaic project to power two municipalities. This move indicates a newly-found desire to support and build the Central American country’s emerging solar market. Looking forward, solar installers and other photovoltaic professionals should expect limitless opportunities in Costa Rica’s emerging solar market.

Solar equipment production and supply capability in Costa Rica

 As I mentioned above, Costa Rica is an emerging solar market. Still, the nation’s solar equipment production and supply capability is something to smile about. Several equipment manufacturers and distributors serve the nascent Costa Rican solar market. Do you need a trustworthy equipment supplier?

If the answer is yes, the Solarfeeds family has got you covered. Our website gives you access to leading solar equipment manufacturers serving Costa Rica. The sole task you need to undertake is going to the website’s inquiry page and request quotes.

Costa Rica’s ports and logistics services

Before venturing into any solar market, you must first consider the ease of accessing equipment. This means you must be able to import equipment if the need arises. Well, Costa Rica boasts of several sea ports that allow entry of goods from overseas markets. The country also has a healthy logistics services network that permits the safe transportation of equipment locally.  

Rapid Shutdowns used for below projects in Costa Rica

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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.