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    Solar

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Cyprus

Solar Market Outlook in Cyprus

Cyprus is abundant when it comes to solar power sources, particularly more than some parts of Europe. The solar power capacity in Europe is estimated to be roughly 7% of the country’s total electric generation (as of 2020). This puts Cyprus among the top in Europe when it comes to solar power generation (Spain is at 8%, Germany at 7%, and Greece at 5%). 

According to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, there were more than 2000 households in Cyprus that opted to install rooftop solar panel systems during the first half of 2020. This is a surprising move despite the pandemic, which affects the global economy. At this rate, this could be the highest number of installations in Cyprus since 2014 with more than 5,000 solar rooftop installations.

The largest solar power plant in Cyprus is the Vassiliko Cement Works Photovoltaic Park and it was built in 2020 with 8 MW in its peak capacity. 

Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Cyprus

Solar panels are the main equipment used in Cyprus to generate solar power. There are plenty of suppliers and manufacturers locally but most are obtained globally or from neighboring countries in Europe.

Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Cyprus

Cyprus has easy access to the sea, which gives it logistical advantage when it comes to the transport of essential solar power equipment. The major seaports in Cyprus that get the highest amount of trade activity include

  • Larnaca,
  • Pornos,
  • Limassol,
  • Latsi, 
  • Paphos.

Electric Breaker

Electric Breakers

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).

Final Thoughts

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.