National Solar Schools Program

ABB Australia Pty Ltd
Thursday, 01 April, 2010

ABB equipment provides protection

ABB has announced that the recently developed S800PV circuit breakers have been used successfully in solar power applications in Australian schools. Designed specifically for the photovoltaic (PV) industry, ABB’s S800PV high-performance miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) and IP65 enclosures are protecting Australian schools’ investment in green energy, including the recently installed 6 kW solar power system at Wenona girls school in Sydney.

Wenona’s solar power system is designed to produce a percentage of the school’s energy needs with annual energy production estimated to be 9729 kilowatt hours. Installed on 45 m2 of roof space, the system has 30 high-efficiency 205 W multi-crystalline PV solar modules manufactured by solar energy specialist Kyocera Solar for peak power output of 6 kW.

The array is mounted on engineered, solar-specific mounting frames and connected to an inverter via heavy-duty USE2 DC solar cable and ABB’s 2-pole S800PV DC circuit breaker. The inverter connects to the electricity network via a digital bidirectional meter. System design and installation was completed by sustainable energy consulting and engineering company Autonomous Energy, and an annual emissions reduction of 10.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent is expected.

George Phani, sales manager for Kyocera Solar, said, “We specify ABB’s S800PV circuit breakers and enclosures for applications like Wenona and Radford College for the specially developed double arcing chamber system that guarantees excellent DC current operating properties.

“The series connection of two arcing chambers creates a big rise in the extinction voltage in the case of a short circuit, which means that the arc is extinguished safely and very quickly.”

Wenona’s solar system began generating power in April and provides energy for almost 1000 students. It is amongst the first PV systems funded under the Australian government’s $480 million National Solar Schools Program (NSSP). The program helps schools take practical action to tackle climate change by offering grants of up to $50,000 to install solar power systems and a range of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The program runs until June 2015 and over 5000 applications from schools have been lodged. Solar energy is clean, inexhaustible and when converted into electricity, completely emissions free.

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