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.
A summary of Sint Maarten’s solar markets
In 2014, Sint Maarten’s council of ministers sanctioned the National energy policy document. This document was supposed to usher in a new era of renewable energy in the Caribbean Island country. More specifically, the policy document envisioned an 80% renewable energy capacity by 2020. Unfortunately, none of the targets outlined in the document have been achieved.
According to an Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI) report released in 2021, Sint Maarten is 100% dependent on fossil fuels. This is pretty heartbreaking, considering that solar energy exploitation has taken the world by storm. However, the report notes that several private initiatives to exploit the Island’s solar energy potential have been observed recently.
Most leading hotels and resorts in Sint Maarten are increasingly adopting solar for their daily energy needs. Such private initiatives present enormous opportunities for solar installers and other photovoltaic professionals in Sint Maarten. You can land one or more of the personal solar projects sprouting up on the Island with a bit of determination.
Solar equipment supply capacity in Sint Maarten
There are several local and overseas suppliers of solar equipment serving Sint Maarten. Most local manufacturers cannot supply equipment for large-scale projects. Nevertheless, there is no need for concern because Solarfeeds has got you covered. If you go through our website, you will see an extensive list of solar equipment suppliers.
Solarfeeds connects you to leading solar equipment brands worldwide. Essentially, you don’t have to spend your time contacting multiple suppliers to request quotes. Just go to our inquiry page and fill in a request for quotations.
Ports and logistics in Sint Maarten
As I mentioned earlier, you may have to import specific equipment if you get a chance to work in Sint Maarten. The Island boasts of an advanced port infrastructure that facilitates the shipping of equipment from various markets. Its logistics sector is also one of the most reliable in the Caribbean Islands. Some of the ports you might want to consider using include;
- ü The port of Philipsburg
- ü The port of St. Maarte