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Old 18-01-2017, 06:59   #16
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

The "Solar wire" is much larger diameter than regular wire so that the MC4 connectors may not be as water tight with regular wire, its the insulation thickness that is the reason, of course 10 Ga wire, is 10 Ga wire.
Also presumably "Solar wire" is more UV resistant than regular wire, which I don't believe is meant to be outside wire. I say presumably because I don't know this to be true, it is an assumption, but if I were making panels, I'd make sure I had UV resistant wire, cause of course panels are meant to be out in the sun.
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:01   #17
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

An example of "Solar wire" that shows its cross section nicely
Solar PV WIRE 100 FT POWER CABLE BLACK - 10 AWG COPPER- UL 4703 2000v USA | eBay
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:03   #18
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The "Solar wire" is much larger diameter than regular wire so that the MC4 connectors may not be as water tight with regular wire, its the insulation thickness that is the reason, of course 10 Ga wire, is 10 Ga wire.
Also presumably "Solar wire" is more UV resistant than regular wire, which I don't believe is meant to be outside wire. I say presumably because I don't know this to be true, it is an assumption, but if I were making panels, I'd make sure I had UV resistant wire, cause of course panels are meant to be out in the sun.
If you are worried about UV exposure, why not put the wire in a UV rated flexible conduit?
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:05   #19
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
What on earth is "Solar Wire" are you looking for pre-made cables with connectors installed?
What's wrong with this?
Round Boat Cable, 10 AWG - Pacer Group
Photovoltaic (PV) wire is sunlight (UV) resistant and rated for wet locations at a temperature rating of 90C or above, has a thicker insulation or jacket, and is suitable for installation in exposed outdoor locations.
Boat cable is not.
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:23   #20
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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Photovoltaic (PV) wire is sunlight (UV) resistant and rated for wet locations at a temperature rating of 90C or above, has a thicker insulation or jacket, and is suitable for installation in exposed outdoor locations.
Boat cable is not.
See post #17
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:31   #21
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

Thanks Gordo. I never thought to look.

I've always known Marine and THHN wire were not sufficiently UV resistant, so I always covered all exposed bits with duct or loom. Makes sense.
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:31   #22
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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If you are worried about UV exposure, why not put the wire in a UV rated flexible conduit?
Solar wire was quoted in a post earlier as being $35/100ft on e-bay. What would the cost be of a similar length of "regular" boat wire + flexible UV rate conduit? Why complicate things to save what $10-$15?
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:41   #23
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

I ended up buying some of the solar wire that coastal climate sells and its much easier to work with than the anchor wire I used for my other solar install. First, its round so it fits through the deck seal we needed to use. Also, its much more flexible. Its also slightly lighter.

I cannot tell you where to buy it but on our next boat we will be using this wire exclusively rather than standard boat tinned wire.
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Old 18-01-2017, 08:25   #24
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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If you are worried about UV exposure, why not put the wire in a UV rated flexible conduit?
I had thought to do that anyway as my PV wire if you rub your hand on it it will leave a black mark after a year or so of exposure, telling me that there is some degradation going on, plus seeing as how I have four panels = eight wires a wire loom would likely look better.
But the way I have it run which is supported with DG clamps every couple of feet would mean either a huge loom or not covering the wires at every DG clamp, then there is the MC4 connectors to deal with.
I haven't given up on the idea yet though.

Note, you don't of course have to use MC4 connectors or a combiner box or PV wire, just that is the easiest way as its the way it is usually done, but you could cut the MC4 connectors off and use adhesive lined shrink wrap butt splices to regular Marine wire.

My boat is 30 yrs old, and Island Packet and I think Yanmar both do not use tinned wire. Yes tinned wire is better, however it seems if you wire it so the wires don't get exposed to any salt water ever, regular copper wire seems to do fine, for at least 30 yrs anyway.
However any wiring I do I use tinned wire, I just can't bring myself not to.
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Old 18-01-2017, 08:55   #25
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

I use the UL rated photovoltaic wire for my installation. It is UV resistant and the wire is tinned.
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Old 18-01-2017, 09:26   #26
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
"Solar wire" is wire for transmitting solar power.


For regular marine wire, genuinedealz.com is a great vendor.
Stop teasing this guy. He thinks solar wire is somehow special. And it may be...for roof installations. But "exposure" is relative: how much wire outside of a loom or run through steel tubing to a deck gland is going to be exposed in the first place? It would not occur to me to do so. I would also cover the MC-4 connectors just as I do the PL-259 connector at my mast base, either with self-amalgamating tape and/or heat shrink.
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Old 18-01-2017, 09:26   #27
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
An example of "Solar wire" that shows its cross section nicely
Solar PV WIRE 100 FT POWER CABLE BLACK - 10 AWG COPPER- UL 4703 2000v USA | eBay
That wire has rather large strands, most boat wire has finer strands because it is more flexible and more resistant to metal fatigue due to vibration and movement. Houses and land based wiring installations can use large diameter solid strand wire because it doesn't move. Wire on boats move because boats move, engines vibrate, etc.

Wire for land based solar installations are going to be subject to different conditions than on a boat. Think about a rooftop solar installation in Arizona, the heat that is produced and the UV exposure will be substantially greater than an installation on a sailboat.

I'd be inclined to use good quality Marine grade tinned wire. Where the wire is exposed to UV and weather covering with wire loom or using PVC conduit would provide protection from the elements.

Check https://www.waytekwire.com/ for good selection and prices.
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Old 18-01-2017, 09:32   #28
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

Try Pacer Group - Marine Wire, Battery Cable and Electrical Parts. Their wire and connectors are as good as or better than Ancor brand and half the price. Pacer had everything I needed to rewire my boat from stem to stern.

Their connectors are amazing, built in heat shrink and nearly waterproof although they are not advertised as such.
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Old 18-01-2017, 09:33   #29
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

Exactly what would solar wire be?
Sounds to me like some marketing hype to make a little extra profit.
ANCOR marine grade wire products should meet all relevant specifications.
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Old 18-01-2017, 09:36   #30
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Re: Where to buy Tinned copper solar wire

You can use what you want, PV wire is much stiffer than normal Marine wire.
I went with it and MC4 connectors as that is the standard for Solar installations, but I also went with a combiner box, something that I don't think most people do on boats either, but its waterproof, is fused, uses the standard MC4 connectors and has a lightning arrestor. I have no idea how well the arrestor will work, but it may.
From the combiner box I will be using standard 2 Ga Marine wire.
So far as I know there are many ways to skin a cat. Which is best, I don't know, I went with the standard way as it was easiest and likely will work.
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