The type of wire for solar panel is a fundamental topic that every solar installer must know. It is important to know how the wiring and wiring of the panels will affect the current, the voltage across the panels, and ultimately the power output of the array so that you can select the solar inverters with the correct power rating and ensure to keep the system working to its full potential. Keep reading to learn what wiring is needed for solar panels.
Choosing the right type of wire for solar panel
If you’re asking yourself what kind of wire to use for solar panels like the Longi mono panels, the answer is that the solar cables used to connect the components of a photovoltaic system come in various types. It usually links four main parts: the inverter, the solar panel, the batteries, and the charge controller.
Choosing the right type of cable in a photovoltaic system is vital for its function and efficiency. Using the incorrect solar wire may not provide the right level of voltage and power to the electrical units, or cause the battery to not fully recharge.
Different types of wire for solar panel vary in conductive material and insulation
Aluminum or Copper conductive material – The two largely used conductive materials used in home and commercial solar installations are copper and aluminum. Most customers cannot find the answer to the question of what kind of wire do you use for solar panels? Copper has a higher conductivity than aluminum, so it carries more current than aluminum of the same size.
Aluminum can weaken during installation, especially during bending; however, it is less expensive than copper cables. Not used (not allowed) for inside residential wiring, as they are used in larger gauges for underground or overhead service entrances and commercial operations.
What kind of wire for solar panels to choose between, solid or stranded? The cable can be solid or stranded, where the stranded wires consist of many small wires that allow the wire to be flexible. This type is recommended for larger sizes. Current tends to flow on the outside of the wire, so stranded wires have slightly better conductivity since there is more wire surface area.
Length of the wire for solar panel
Usually, the longest run of cable runs from the photovoltaic array to the location of the charge controller. Since all the combined PV power flows through this set of cables, we must choose it correctly to maximize performance and ensure safety.
The rule of thumb is to stay below a 2% voltage drop on this run. Using the known resistance of the various gauges of wire, it is possible to calculate the maximum length of a pair of wires for each size of wire gauge.
This is how the calculation is done for a 12V PV power system. You can multiply the length for a 24V system or quadruple it for a 48V solar power system. Keep in mind that when you’re calculating your wire length, you need to find the best solar structure to buy. The kind of solar structure can affect the wire length.
Choose the right size of wire for solar panel
Choosing the correct wire sizes in your PV system is crucial for both safety reasons and performance. If the wires are undersized, there will be a noticeable voltage loss across the cables, resulting in excessive energy loss. Also, if the cables are too small, there is a risk that they will heat up to the point of starting a fire.
A dc cable for solar panel carries current in the same way that a water hose carries water. The larger the diameter of the water hose, the lower the resistance to the flow of water. If your electrical wires (the copper gauge) are not long enough or if the wire is longer than necessary, then the resistance is higher, resulting in less wattage to the battery bank or mains.
Copper cables are sized using the American Wire Gauge scale. The lower the gauge number, the less resistance the wire has, and can handle a higher current of electricity.
The following table shows the capacity of various wire gauge sizes and their typical application and amperage rating for residential and solar applications.
Commercial PV solar panels over 50 watts use 10-gauge wire. This allows up to 30 amps of power to transfer through a single panel. If several panels are connected in parallel, a set of three to eight combiner wires is typically required to safely transfer power to a charge controller.
We hope that now you know everything about what wire is used for different solar panel types and have all the tools to make the right decision and buy the right type of wire for solar panel. We are not necessarily done here. You can contact our technicians at Pas Solar to get more information or find a distributor near you.