What applications use Solar Cables?
Solar cables are used as wiring for solar panels and photovoltaic arrays. Solar power cables can also be used with underground entrances and to connect service terminals. Be sure to check cables for compatibility with grounded or ungrounded systems. In general, USE-2 Wire may only be used with grounded circuits. Photovoltaic Wire (PV Wire) can be used in both grounded and ungrounded systems.
What types of Solar Cable are available through Allied Wire and Cable?
We offer three different kinds of solar cable:
- UL Rated PV Wire – Photovoltaic wire
- USE-2 Solar Wire – Also known as RHW/RHH wire
- THHN Wire – General purpose building wire
What are the differences between USE-2 Solar Wire and Photovoltaic Wire (PV Wire)?
USE-2 solar wire is crush and impact resistant. PV Wire has thicker insulation and jacketing, better sunlight resistance, flame resistance, and better flexibility at low temperatures.
USE-2 solar wire is rated to 90° Celsius in wet and dry conditions and has a voltage rating of 600 volts. PV wire is rated to 90° Celsius in wet conditions and 150° Celsius in dry conditions. PV wire can be rated to 600, 1000, or 2000 volts.
USE-2 solar wire is designed for connecting PV modules and can be used only with grounded PV arrays. PV wire is designed for underground service entrances and can be used in both grounded and ungrounded PV arrays.
Are PV Wire and USE-2 Wire appropriate for above-ground or underground applications?
Both single-conductor PV Wire and single-conductor USE-2 Wire are appropriate for use in exposed outdoor arrays, according to Sec. 690.31 (B) of the National Electrical Code (NEC). However, it is more common to choose PV Wire for exposed applications, and USE-2 Wire for underground use.
What is the UL rating for PV Wire?
UL Style number UL 4704 applies to Photovoltaic Wire (PV Wire) used to connect grounded and ungrounded photovoltaic power systems.
Can I use THHN Wire instead of PV Wire or USE-2 Solar Wire to save money?
No, you cannot replace PV wire or USE-2 solar wire with THHN wire. While THHN wire can be used in some solar applications and is cheaper than many solar cables, it cannot be used where standards call for PV wire or USE-2 solar wire. Doing so could cause failures since THHN lacks the added construction strengths of specialized cables like PV and USE-2 Wire.
Can I customize my Solar Cables?
Absolutely! We offer custom printing and striping for PV wire, USE-2 solar wire & THHN for solar applications. For THHN, we also offer cut & strip and twisting.
What types of connectors are available for Solar Cables?
Tyco brand MC3 Non-Locking connectors, MC4 Locking Connectors, and SOLARLOK® Connectors are made for solar power cables. We can do solar cable assemblies with these connectors at your request.