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What size cable is used for solar panels?

EC5 Male to Cigarette Lighter Cable



Cable size


The most practical wires for solar panels are PV1-F solar cables, which are most commonly available in 4mm2 and 6mm2. A very rough rule of thumb is that arrays less than 20A can use 4mm2, arrays of 20A or more should use 6mm2. If a larger size is required, it is recommended to run it twice from the array to the solar controller. Aside from practicality and cost considerations, there's no downside to using a larger gauge cable.



PV1-F cables are highly UV resistant, durable, high voltage rated and designed for installation with MC4 connectors, high stranded wire and tinned copper. Its properties mean the cable is well suited for most applications including marine and is also cost effective.



Solar Array Performance


Solar panels are rated under Standard Test Conditions (STC), which means the solar panels are placed on a light bed rated at 1000W/m2 at 25C and sea level. This is why seeing solar panel output under typical conditions is not typical, combined with other losses (dirt on panels, cable/connection loss, sun direction, panel temperature, solar controller loss, battery efficiency loss), the actual The output will see probably be much lower.



A general rule of thumb is that you will see solar panels with STC ratings as high as 75% in the middle of summer. ie. 200W solar panel output 150W.



In some rare cases, you may see near full output when the solar panels have been stored in a cool garage and suddenly exposed to the midday summer sun. As the panel heats up, performance will drop to a more typical 75% output.



For best performance, the solar panel should be perpendicular to the sun, but usually mounts that keep the solar panel facing the sun provide only minimal performance improvement, but are much more complex and costly.



Bypass, Blocking Diodes and Shading


An Inside View of How Bypass Diodes Work Every solar panel has one or more bypass diodes. Despite the marketing hype, the main purpose of bypass diodes is to keep the battery from overheating. When the battery is shaded it causes the battery resistance to increase and when the current flows through the resistance the battery heats up which if the current doesn't go around the battery it can cause a hot spot and subsequent failure of the battery and since every battery is In series, the entire solar panel will fail.



In a 12V array, bypass diodes, while necessary to protect the battery, offer little performance improvement.



Premier Cable is proud to offer you solar panel cables. If you require solar cables, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!




EC5 EC3 to DC 5.5mm x 2.5mm CableSAE to EC5 Male Plug Quick Connection Adapter USB Type-C to XT60 Charging Adapter Cable

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