Solar cables are used in many green energy initiatives and need to be sunlight, ozone, and UV ray resistant. The two most common solar cables used are Photovoltaic (PV) wire and USE-2 solar cables. PV wire has the thickest insulation and jacket, making it more flame, sunlight, ozone, and UV ray resistant. USE-2 solar cables, however, are crush and impact resistant.
Another main difference between USE-2 and PV wires is that while USE-2 solar cables can only be used in grounded solar arrays, PV wire can be used in ungrounded or grounded photovoltaic arrays.
Our Custom Solar Cable Solution
The owner of a solar installation company reached out to Allied Wire and Cable for help designing a custom cable for his application. The customer had previously been using a common, three-conductor cable and thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon (THHN) wire in his solar installation projects.
THHN wire is also commonly used in the solar power industry since it is environmentally friendly and cheaper than PV wire and USE-2 solar cables. This type of wire, however, does not have the same strength or ratings as the other two. This wire was also kept separate from the three-conductor cable, making installation lengthy and difficult.
One of our custom cable design experts worked closely with this customer for six months to perfect his design. Together, they created a custom three-conductor cable made with PV wire, combined under one jacket. The jacket was also brightly colored and had the company name and "patent pending" printed onto it.
In the end, this custom cable saved our customer future repair costs and installation time and costs. If you are currently using a cable not durable enough for your application’s environment, visit our Custom Cable Design Center or call 800-472-4655 to be put in touch with a custom cable expert.