Wires for Solar Panels: The Basics and Types of Solar Wires and Cables

A solar wire is any type of wire or cable that connects solar panels to the solar power system. Well, the solar wire transfers the current from the panels to back up a solar energy system. Here, we would like to have a look at the basics of wires for solar panels, their types, sizes, and a lot more.

It is very important to choose the right wires and cables for a solar energy system. A bad choice may damage the system or not fully charge the battery packs. Thus, you won’t be able to run your appliances at full power.

Therefore, you should consider a lot of things before buying the wires for your solar systems. We have a guide on the basics of solar wires, their types, sizes, and other important factors below.

Types of Wires for Solar Panels

Well, the conductor type is the key factor behind the categorization of any type of electrical wire and cables. That is, whether solar or normal wire, the category goes based on its conductor type.

Thus, we have two types of basic wires out there; single-stranded and multi-stranded. As you see, the first one has a single metal conductor, while the latter has a multiple wire core.

Here, the multi-stranded wire is obviously good for high current flow and suitable for extremely vibrating environs like vehicles, and other portable systems. Meanwhile, single-stranded is a fine choice for domestic purposes.

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Solar Wire Rating

As you know, the Amp is the key rating parameter for solar wires. Put it simply, it is the total amount of amps that can pass through the PV wire. So, if you use a 7Amp wire, the maximum the wire can support is a 7Amp system, but commonly it is recommended to go for wires with a little higher amp than the solar system.

Fine, you can mundanely identify the amps of solar wire with the thickness of the same. The thicker the cable, the more amps it can support. That is a common law, but you should make sure you purchase solar cables from the top-rated brands only, for example, ZW-Cable.

The use of low-rated solar wires is definitely an unsafe practice. It will end up in the drop of voltage and resultant heating up of the panels. Thus, the solar panels and even the solar energy system may catch fire. So, it is highly not recommended to use solar wires that are rated less than the output of the connected solar array.

Solar Wire Length

Solar wire distance is of high importance to take into account while setting up a solar power system. The exact amps that match with your solar storage system won’t be enough if you have to lay down the wires at a longer distance to reach the battery and connection boxes.

In that case, you need to obviously increase the amps of the wires. Or, there is the possibility of voltage drop and the resultant firing. In other words, for a system with 20amp capacity with a wire of considerable length, you need to go for higher amps of 27amp to 30amp for safety.

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Solar Wire Gauge Calculation

Finally, choosing the right wire gauge is necessary. Along with the amp rating and wire distance, it is essential to ensure the safety of the overall system. There are a lot of online calculators to help you identify the right sizes of solar wires for your desired system. So, it is not a big task even for a beginner.

Final Thoughts

Overall, solar cables are not anything quite different from normal or other electrical cables, except that they have strong insulation. Of course, solar cables need dense insulation and UV resistance because their chance for high exposure to the intense sunlight is there. If you take into account all these factors, you will be lucky enough to set up a very safe and secure solar power system in your home, camper, trailer, or more.

Image Courtesy: ZW-Cable

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