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.
Solar Products Wholesalers
Wholesaling refers to buying some products or goods directly from its manufacturer usually at a discount and then reselling it to the retailers for a comparatively higher cost than the original. Basically, wholesalers handle products and package them in small quantities and then sell them to retail customers, either for commercial or personal use.
Many industries have wholesalers, and that will not skip the solar industries. Nowadays, many solar wholesale stores/firms are operating across the globe, making it much easier for retailers to go solar. Sometimes retailers find it hard to reach direct manufacturers of solar products because some companies do not have their solar stores/shops in public, with that they are not also offering solar products per piece. Through wholesale solar stores/shops, these individuals can easily buy the solar products that they need to replace or maintain their solar systems.
If you are in need of solar product suppliers for an individual purpose, you may visit some solar outsourcing marketplace to get an updated list of solar wholesalers near your location. There are many solar platforms that provide enough information and data about the solar industry in your region, including all the reliable solar wholesalers in town.
Solar Market Outlook in Nigeria
With a population of 200 million and an economy that relies mostly on its oil reserves, the economy of Nigeria is highly volatile. Add to that Nigeria’s electricity woes. Many residents and business owners in the country rely on generators to power up their business and even then a huge percentage of the population has no access to electricity.
Experts agree that this shouldn’t be the case as this is a tropical country. Geographically, its location close to the equator means that it has mostly sunny days throughout the year. The government is hoping that this renewable energy source could be the solution they’re seeking to combat the electricity woes that have haunted them for decades.
The National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy in Nigeria was established in 2014. This policy details that Nigeria has a target of 20% electricity generation from renewable sources, mostly solar, in an effort to address the nationwide electricity shortage. They are also hoping to encourage more private investments in solar power plants.
There is notably a high solar potential in Nigeria, which gets up to 7 hours of sunlight daily. If this sunlight can be harnessed, it will produce 333,000 MW of solar power, which should be more than enough to bridge the electricity gap in the country.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Nigeria
Just as solar power plant projects are limited, there is also limited availability in local manufacturers of solar equipment in Nigeria. For those looking to make solar installations, you can turn to online or global suppliers and distributors for that.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Nigeria
Transporting and logistics handling of solar equipment into Nigeria should be easy since there are plenty of commercial ports available such as
- Lagos Port Complex,
- Calabar Port Complex,
- Delta Port,
- Rivers Port Complex,
- Tin Can Island Port,
- the Onne Port.