Solar Panel Wires
Considering that solar panel wires serve as the “veins” that feed energy into your solar panel, it probably goes without saying that you need the most effective type possible to ensure maximum efficiency with your solar array.
Today we’re going to tell you about the different varieties of wiring on offer in conjunction with how best to use them. Read on for everything you need to know.
Solar Wire Types
Not all wiring in this category is the same, and if you choose the wrong variety of solar panel cable for the job, then unfortunately your entire array isn’t going to give out the level of energy that you need it to. The main variations are as follows:
Multiple Strand Core Wiring
The multiple strand type is typically put to best use as part of a solar array that’s going to face a frequent amount of vibration and disruption. It works better in these environments because the multiple channel system can protect the central current despite external interference.
Examples of where this wiring type would suit best include motor homes, boats, or any other type of moving vehicle. They’d also be perfect for external outhouses placed next to busy high traffic areas including construction sites or hectic commercial environments with frequent vibration occurrence.
Single Strand Core Wiring
The single strand solar panel wires are great for use with solar arrays or farms where there’s a very minimal degree of external disruption or vibration. They might not protect the internal current as effectively as the multi-strand type, but this isn’t always necessary.
Using this variety of wiring will more than adequately meet the needs of most solar technology owners using static residential panels that aren’t surrounded by any disruptive elements. They’re simple and highly effective.
Basics of Solar Panel Wiring
We’re now going to explain the elements that go into creating an effective solar circuit using solar panel cable connectors so that you can piece together a safe and reliable home or work-based solar array. We’ve tried to make the information as simple and easy to understand as possible. It’s all very simple when you reduce the process to a few key areas as follows.
Voltage, Current, and Power
You need all three of these important elements to get any usable energy from your solar panel whatsoever. Voltage serves as the potential amount of energy that can be transferred through and taken out of a circuit. Power serves as the catalyst for allowing an energy flow process to function and “move,” and the current is the physical flow of the energy itself being moved via the use of power.
Based on the capacity of your solar array and the inverter you use, you’ll have a specific level of power that you can maximally generate and use. It’s all about using the individual components of your solar circuit properly to achieve that power after that.
You can use your chosen model of solar panel cable to create two different types of wiring circuit, both of which carry unique properties. They should both achieve roughly the same result, but which one you opt for depends on the setting that your solar array is placed in. We’ll cover this in more detail in the next section, but be sure not to skip on it if you want your solar array to produce optimum power output.
This is the most important area of all. None of your hard work is going to make any impact if any of the circuit components are incompatible with one another. Ensure that your power inverter, panels, and wiring can all effectively work together and feature the same power rating. All it takes is one weak link with any one of these products and the entire solar array will be rendered unusable.
Series vs Parallel Wiring
As previously mentioned, how you decide to wire your circuit will determine the level of efficiency that you get out of your solar array. As a general rule of thumb, a series circuit will work well in situations where none of the panels in the solar array are likely to face any disruption or have their access to the sun omitted (i.e. a roof-based residential installation on a home.)
A parallel array would work well in a scenario where disruption of at least one of the panels is likely (a good example would be a high traffic area with a commercial array or on a moving vehicle like a boat should there be enough panels to warrant a full circuit like this).
The differences between the two are as follows:
- Series wiring circuit
In a series circuit, you’re wiring each panel together in such a fashion that from one panel to the next, the power accumulatively increases sequentially in the circuit until the current reaches the eventual output source at the maximum possible rating for you to utilise for effective energy use.
The downside to this type of circuit is that if there is any disruption to the flow of current at any point along the way, the entire strength of the power within the circuit is compromised by means of a drop in total voltage (and therefore potential power).
- Parallel wiring circuit
In a parallel circuit, you’re establishing a connection where several panels can channel energy alongside each other and eventually reach an output source without each panel having to directly rely on each other to produce maximum power capacity in the process.
Though this type of circuit is a little more complex to set up, the benefit is that if any of the panels become compromised, then neighbouring panels can still continue to produce energy to the desired output rating while the compromised panel awaits a return to normal functionality. Provided that you opt for the circuit that will most effectively work with your solar panel, you’ll reap maximum power return at all times.
What You Need to Know About Cables and Wires in Solar Systems
Before you head out to buy solar panel connectors, it’s important that you understand the difference between cables and wires. They’re often described as being one and the same, but this isn’t the case! The key differences are as follows:
Wires are single channel conductors used to send or return electrical current. They are used to form cables but are not cables in and of themselves. As we previously mentioned, there are a couple of different wire types (single and multiple strand).
Both single and multiple strand wires can be used to help form a larger cable. They’re used in situations where an electrical current is being channelled without there being much risk of damage to the circuit.
For something to be classified as a cable, it needs to feature several single or multiple-strand wires. Cables are essentially heavy duty versions of wires and are used for their enhanced power channelling capacity and durability in situations where this is called for. They make for excellent external or exposed wiring options.
How to Manage Solar Panel Cable Connectors
There are four primary means by which you can safely and effectively control cable and wiring circuits for solar power, which are:
- Free air installation
This form of power transmission means that the wiring is positioned above ground with inbuilt separators to allow heat to dissipate, thus ensuring that there’s no circuit disruption. This is a cost and labour-effective way to wire a circuit if you know how to do it.
- Above ground messenger wire bundles
This form of installation simply sees the solar panel connectors and cables for your array being bundled together and transported to the panel housing area above the ground, fixed onto a messenger pole system.
- Buried wiring
This type of connecting circuit sees the wiring or cables placed beneath the ground where they are protected from the elements and can safely channel the current from one location to another unimpeded.
- Inside pipe wiring
This connection simply involves placing the wiring or cables inside a pipe where they are safely protected from the elements and can send electrical current freely with minimal risk or interruption damage in the process.
After reading through today’s post, you should now have a much more rounded understanding of what solar panel wiring is and how to effectively use it for maximum solar array power output. It might seem like a complicated subject area at first, but we’re sure that you’ll agree, after reading through a simplified explanation of the different elements involved in creating and using a wiring circuit it’s not as bad as it seems. Enjoy choosing the best wiring solution for your panel and the future of hugely economic energy consumption it provides you access to for decades to come.