Solar Market Outlook in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia holds very high potential for tapping solar energy with its access to solar power facilities, massive areas of flat, and a favorable climate to generate solar power. However, this is not the case on the ground. In fact, solar power is responsible for only 0.5% of its total energy production (as of 2020). Oil and gas continue to lead the country’s energy sector.
Despite that, the government continues to push its effort to bring more projects to boost solar power production. There has been a steady arrival of foreign projects that have started or in the works. The Saudi Arabian government is also among the supporters of the plans to increase production of solar energy in the Middle East. Given the resources that are available in Saudi Arabia, it is easy to get local support and bring in investments in the region.
There is no clear projection as to the rate of development and growth in the country’s solar power industry. As it stands, Saudi Arabia has failed to live up to its potential.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Saudi Arabia
Majority of the solar power equipment that is installed and used in the country are from foreign suppliers and distributors. By the looks of it, this will be the case in the years to come.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Saudi Arabia
There are many ports serving Saudi Arabia to facilitate logistics and trade activity. These ports are as follows:
- Port of Duba,
- Jubail Commercial Port,
- Jeddah Islamic Port,
- Dhuba Bulk Plant Terminal,
- Dhiba Sea Port,
- Jizan Port,
- Port of Zuluf,
- Port of Ras al Mishab.
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.