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.
Custom Made Solar Products OEM
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer which is commonly referred to as a company that manufactures and offers parts and accessories of items that are used as components of a product from another company. To sum it up, OEM commonly manufactures specific items on behalf of brands. Though OEM typically operates in the computer and technology industries, it also works in the solar industry.
Factories for White Label Solar Products
In the case of the solar industry, most solar companies work with solar OEMs to build and design their own solar products such as solar panels, cells, modules, etc. OEM becomes their outsourcing partner that helps them in assembling and reproducing their solar products.
Nowadays, a huge number of solar companies, particularly those large solar manufacturing companies, are partnering with outstanding solar OEMs to deliver the best quality solar products to their solar customers. Mainly, the reason is, these solar OEMs help solar manufacturers cut down their production costs since they no longer have to operate their own factories, purchase needed materials and hire labour to produce their solar products.
As a solar manufacturing company, the first thing you need to consider is to find the most reliable solar OEM in the market. One of the biggest perks of the internet these days is you can now easily find these OEMs even in the comfort of your home. With the help of a solar outsourcing marketplace such as SolarFeeds.com, you can easily find the most reliable and right OEM partner for your solar company. Solar outsourcing marketplace helps solar industry professionals gather accurate and timely information about solar including the list of most trusted Solar Original Equipment Manufacturers.
Solar Market Outlook in Kenya
There is an ongoing debate in Kenya’s energy sector because of the growing shift towards solar energy. The leading electricity distributor in Kenya has cited a decrease in revenue as more consumers and businesses are shifting towards solar power.
The proponents of solar energy continue to champion the benefits of this renewable energy source and consumers are shifting to solar power generation, which continues to eat further into the traditional electric distributors’ profits. The high cost of electricity and taxes are the primary motivation to consider renewable energy as an alternative source. As of now, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Kenya has reported that solar energy accounts for 1% of the country’s current electricity mix. And yet, the country’s location in the equatorial zone means that it has high potential for solar energy. Solar is, therefore, looked at as a viable energy source and as part of the effort to achieve carbon emission goals. Despite having the highest exposure to the sun, Kenya is the most underdeveloped in terms of solar PV capacity. The wider adoption of solar energy will require education and training to succeed.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Kenya
There is a lack of domestic suppliers and distributors of solar power equipment. They rely on the importation of these supplies from global and online suppliers and distributors.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Kenya
There are plenty of commercial ports in Kenya wherein solar equipment can be transported. Some of them include
- the Port of Shimoni,
- Kilindini Harbor,
- Port Tudor,
- Port Reitz, Port of Kiunga,
- Port of Lamu,
- Port of Mombasa,
- Port of Mbaraki.