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.
In the simplest terms, manufacturing is the process of producing actual goods or items/products through the use of raw materials, human labour, use of machinery, tools and other processes such as chemical formulation. This process usually starts with product designing and raw material selection, turning them into an actual product output.
Solar Products Manufacturers and Factories
In terms of solar, manufacturing encompasses the fabrication or production of materials across the solar market chain. The most common product being manufactured by solar companies are the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, which are made with several subcomponents such as solar wafers, cells, glass, back sheets, and frames. Before a solar panel comes into life, it will undergo a lot of processes, from designing, modelling, choosing what raw materials to use and then assembling them all to make the final product.
More Than Just Solar Panels
Aside from the solar panels, solar companies have many other manufactured products that are required to make solar energy systems work smoothly, like solar inverters, batteries, combiner boxes, and racking and tracking structures.
Having a solar manufacturing sector makes a big difference in supplying affordable solar energy in different areas. Aside from maintaining the rising domestic and global demand for cleaner and renewable energy, they also help the economy grow, particularly the solar industry. If you are in search of a reliable solar manufacturing company, checking out our solar outsourcing company, SolarFeeds, would help you get easy access to reliable information, news, data and a list of solar manufacturers that can help you with solar products.
A Brief Analysis of Malta’s nascent solar market
The Maltese consume an estimated 2.12 billion Kilowatts-hours of electricity per year. This energy consumption rate is the second-lowest across all European Union member states. Malta does not have any domestic fuel resources thus, forcing it to rely on imported fossil fuels. However, the country is working towards a renewable energy future under the European Union’s energy efficiency directive stipulations. What is the current state of Malta’s solar market?
As of 2017, renewable energy accounted for only 4.9 % of the Central Mediterranean state’s total installed capacity. This was one of the lowest renewable energy capacities in Europe. Fortunately, the Maltese Ministry of energy stepped up its renewable energy adoption efforts. At the end of 2019, Malta’s installed solar capacity stood at 154 Megawatts.
There are no recent statistics on the Maltese installed capacity. Still, the country’s rooftop PV sector is growing fast due to the government’s support. Essentially, this nascent solar market is most likely to continue growing and offer more lucrative opportunities for solar installers.
Solar equipment supply capacity in Malta
Malta has a small number of solar equipment suppliers that mainly deal with common equipment categories such as solar panels. This may limit your range of options in case you have a project lined up. Nevertheless, there is no need for concern because Solarfeeds has got you covered.
As a leading e-commerce marketplace for solar equipment, we host several leading equipment suppliers. If you don’t find the equipment needed locally, you can choose to import affordable and quality equipment from any of our partners. Just go to our inquiry page and request quotes.
Ports and logistics in Malta
Any solar installer or professional will agree that ports and quality services are essential amenities in any market. Well, most of Malta’s logistics service providers are highly experienced and dependable. You also have access to two major ports, namely;
- The Valletta Grand Harbor
- The Port of Marsaxlokk