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Old 10-12-2016, 10:16   #1
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Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

I'm getting ready to install some new solar panels. If I use "Solar Panel Cable", which is UV resistant, do I still need to cover it to protect it? Will it last long term in exposed areas?
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:43   #2
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

Not sure what qualifies as Solar Panel Cable. I would be more concerned that the wire itself is tinned, than the UV issues.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:59   #3
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

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I'm getting ready to install some new solar panels. If I use "Solar Panel Cable", which is UV resistant, do I still need to cover it to protect it? Will it last long term in exposed areas?
I didn't cover mine. It is pretty thick and I figure if it can survive up on someone's roof it would survive just as well on the boat. It's been 5 years and it doesn't show any sign of breaking down.
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Old 10-12-2016, 20:33   #4
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

We use cable designated PV Wire for rooftop solar installations, it is UV stable. Modern solar panels will be wired with it. However, if you can reduce the exposure to direct sun, I would.
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:52   #5
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

UV Resistant & Tinned Cu ➥ https://www.belden.com/docs/upload/CB0013.pdf
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:24   #6
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

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So my question is, what does "UV resistant" mean? UV proof, don't worry about it? Resists UV, but will still break down over time, better cover it?
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:28   #7
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

Oh, Sailorboy & Mason, thank you for your replies!
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:15   #8
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

A simple and inexpensive approach would be to use a UV Resistant cable, along with a sacrificial split flexible conduit as outer cover.

This will also allow you to consolidate, and hopefully tidy up, the wiring installation. This may also provide some protection against wire chafe.
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:23   #9
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

Painting the wire might work. Polyurethane paint is UV resistant and sticks to many surfaces
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:34   #10
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

So, if the UV resistant wire needs to be covered, why pay extra for UV resistant wire?
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:12   #11
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

I used black yale polyester cover over my exposed wire
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:20   #12
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

Thanks, I've done that too, and it's my preferred method. I'm trying to determine though, if I use the PV UV resistant wire, is covering it necessary?
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Old 11-12-2016, 13:29   #13
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

I run mine through a duct made from UV resistant garden hose--guaranteed ten years in Australian sun. Cheap and works fine--and the cables can be pulled through with a wire or heavy nylon monofilament. The cables need to be 6mm or better tinned. If you use a hose ordinary cable will do.
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Old 11-12-2016, 13:56   #14
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

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Originally Posted by Training Wheels View Post
I'm getting ready to install some new solar panels. If I use "Solar Panel Cable", which is UV resistant, do I still need to cover it to protect it? Will it last long term in exposed areas?
The decent quality PV cable (I used the figure 8 version) is UV stable and tinned. I have also used the proper PV connectors so that I can easily remove the panels at any time for service etc.

The semi-flexible panels I bought for our curved frame have the termination box (with terminated tails) mounted on the top. Despite all of the UV stability they should have, I snapped the tops off and sprayed them with an aerosol pack of automotive satin-black paint (quite a few coats), to protect the covers. When re-installed, they totally cover the base/termination part of the box so that part is out of the sun anyway.

As to the short length of cable tails as they come out of the side of the termination boxes then under the panels, I have not covered them, and so far all is well (3 years continual exposure in the Med). As the cables curve around and under, that stressed section will be the first part to go if/when it does. However there is no paint that will successfully adhere to that material, and to sleeve properly, I would have to un-terminate to slip the sleeve on, which is what I would have to do anyway to replace those tails in the future (due to the curve, a split sleeve would have been messy trying to keep it closed).

The main cabling enters the stainless arch under the panels, so apart from reflected light off the water, is away from UV (as are the connectors pretty well), and I expect to last a very long time. When/if, it ever needs replacing, I have enough looped below to be able to pull more through the tubes and re-terminate, but frankly, I will be surprised it I every need to.

So there are a few thoughts for you, but in brief answer (finally) to your question, yes, the good cable is UV resistant, as it is designed to be up there in the baking sun, year in, year out. However, nothing is forever, so any help you can give it may be worthwhile as long as it does not mess up your installation. But for me the termination box covers were my only concern.

I hope that helps,

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Old 11-12-2016, 15:51   #15
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Re: Solar Panel Cable UV Resistance

Thank you! That's what I was looking for. I'd prefer to use the PV cable with no cover. If I have to cover it, I'd just go with duplex.
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