Where is Solar Cable used?
Solar cables are used as interconnect cables for solar panels and photovoltaic arrays in a solar power grid. Solar power cables can also be used in underground entrances and service terminal connections. 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 solar installations.
What types of Solar Cable does Allied Wire and Cable carry?
We offer three different kinds of solar power 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 and Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Wire?
These two solar cables have varying constructions which give them different ratings and uses. USE-2 wire is crush and impact-resistant, but PV wire has thicker insulation. This gives it better sunlight resistance, flame resistance, and low-temperature flexibility. PV Wire also has a higher temperature rating. It is rated for 90°C in wet conditions and 150°C in dry conditions, whereas USE-2 wire is rated for 90°C in both wet and dry conditions. USE-2 solar wire is also often available in larger gauge sizes. It is suitable for use in PV module solar connectors and grounded PV arrays that do not exceed 600V. PV Wire is suitable for use in both grounded and ungrounded arrays. PV Wire can have a voltage rating of 600V, 1000V, or 2000V.
Can PV Wire and USE-2 Solar wire be used in above-ground or underground applications?
Single-conductor constructions of both solar cables are suitable 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 Solar Cable for underground use.
Are Allied Wire and Cable's PV Wires UL-approved?
Yes! Our PV Wire meets UL Style 4703. Our USE-2 solar cable also meets UL Styles, 4703, 44, and 854.
Can I use THHN Wire instead of USE-2 or PV Wire?
No. If standards specifically call for USE-2 or PV Wire, you cannot replace them with THHN Wire. While THHN wire can be used in solar connector applications, using it in place of designated Solar Cables can cause system failures due to their construction differences.
Can I customize my Solar Cables?
Absolutely! Allied Wire and Cable offers many value-added services for all of our wire and cable. We offer custom printing and striping for all of our solar power cables. We also offer twisting and cut & strip for THHN Wire. Allied Wire and Cable can also help you design a completely custom solar cable.
What sizes do Solar Cables come in?
Solar cables come in a wide variety of AWG sizes. USE-2 solar cable is available from 4/0 to 14 AWG, PV Wire is available from 250 to 18 AWG, and THHN Wire is available from 1000 MCM to 14 AWG.
What types of connectors are available for Solar Cables?
Tyco brand MC3 Non-Locking connectors, MC4 Locking Connectors, and SOLARLOK® Solar Connectors are made for solar power cables. We can do solar panel mounts and solar cable assemblies with these solar connectors at your request.