What are solar cables & wiring?

Learn about solar cables and wiring as part of our solar PV system DISCOVER SERIES. Read the first part of the DISCOVER SERIES about solar panels if you haven’t or our second post about solar inverters if you have not. Now back to solar cables.

  • Solar cables connect a PV system together

  • Solar cables are resistant to heat, UV resistant & more

  • Solar cables & wiring have to withstand the electricity which flows through them

Introduction to solar cables

We learnt that solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, which then travels to a solar inverter.  Electricity in a solar PV system travels around due to the PV system being interconnected through a series of solar cables and wiring works.

Solar cabling or wiring links an entire solar PV system together. It allows the transportation of electricity to travel from your solar panels to solar inverters and other components of a solar PV system till it reaches your home’s power sockets. It is especially important to get cabling or wiring works done right, as a small wire is prone to overheating if the flow of electricity going through it is too great. Overheating may cause a few issues like lower electricity generation or even a fire.

Solar cables and wiring installation works by ers energy 3
Solar cables and wiring installation works by ers energy 3

A typical PV system installation requires a lot of cables

Why are solar cables & wiring works so important?

They connect each solar PV system’s component to each other. Without them; data & energy would not flow through to the rest of the solar PV system.

Solar cables may look the same but are different from your usual cables. Solar cables withstand outdoor elements like heat, UV and more. Apart from that, solar cables are manufactured to optimize the travel of electricity and minimize losses. Resulting in more electricity generated from a solar PV system.

solar cabling and wiring installation works by ers energy 2

Cable management is essential in keeping the system running well & the premise safe

Who decides which cables go where?

An example of solar cabling or wiring works “done right” is by having experienced solar engineers design a solar PV system with all the right components from solar panels to proper recommended solar cabling. This leaves out any doubts on what components to select and sets the proper framework before any installation work begins.

At this stage the right solar cables and wiring is chosen to handle the right amp the solar cable or wiring would be required to handle. This leaves out the risk of a cable overheating under heavy loads.

To handle the harsh weather conditions, armored or heavy-duty insulated cables are recommended since some solar cables or wiring would be exposed to extended hours under the sun.

Distance between solar PV components play a role too in ensuring optimized power generation as electricity will suffer losses if the cables are too long.

Cable and wire trunking or insulations are neatly installed and aesthetically pleasing. Messy cables and wires, or worse, poorly terminated cables are signs of poor cable and wiring management. These should be avoided at all costs!

Lastly, any respectable solar energy company would offer workmanship warranties for any installation works performed by their installers.

solar cables and wiring installation works by ers energy 4

Performing cable management; placing cables & wires into the newly installed trunking

Solar cable brands

Below is a list of brands which manufacture solar cables. Picking one of these would generally be a safe bet. With solar cables it is always best to check the amps you’re working with for your solar PV system and find a suitable solar cable to meet the demands.

  • LAPP

  • Sino Cables

  • Phoenix Contact

  • Prysmian

  • Thermocables

  • KEI

  • RR Kabel

  • Polycab

  • Helukabel

Conclusion

With that, we conclude this part of the DISCOVER SERIES on solar cables. Don’t forget to ask for workmanship warranty if you’re having a solar PV installed. It would be advisable to get an extended warranty or a coverage plan if possible for your solar PV system– it’s worth it. Until next time and thank you for reading!

The views expressed by the author, Michael Leong, are of the author’s own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which he have been, am now, or will be affiliated.

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