Allied Encyclopedia – Solar Power Cable, PV Wire & USE-2

Allied EncyclopediaThese days, it’s important for everyone to be environmentally conscious. An increasingly popular way of doing this is by switching to solar power.

The systems that create solar power are called photovoltaic (PV) systems. The most recognizable part of a photovoltaic system, the solar panel, is the mechanism that converts the sun’s energy into usable electric current. However, the system doesn’t rely on the solar panel alone. Specialized solar power cables play an important role in getting the green energy going!

Solar PV Wire is one such cable. It is ozone, UV, and moisture resistant cable used for interconnection wiring in photovoltaic systems. It is a durable cable rated at 90°C wet and up to 150°C in dry applications. It can be rated to 600, 1000, or 2000 volts. PV Wire can be used as underground service entrance wire, and is appropriate for both grounded and ungrounded PV arrays. PV Wire meets UL Standard 4703.

USE-2 Wire (also called RHW/RHH wire) is another type of photovoltaic wire. It is used to connect PV modules, but can only be used in grounded arrays. USE-2 Wire has a temperature rating of 90°C in wet or dry conditions, and a voltage rating of 600V.

While USE-2 solar cable is crush and impact resistant, PV wire has thicker insulation, a thicker jacket, and better sunlight resistance, flame resistance, and better flexibility at low temperatures.

THHN building wire is a third option commonly used in solar applications, but it should never be used in applications that call for USE-2 or PV wire. The standards call for the specialized wires to account for extra construction strength that they have and THHN does not, so using THHN wire in these applications is not advised and could cause system failure.

All of these cables are available in RoHS compliant versions. RoHS compliance means that the cable is free of hazardous substances, making it even greener! Choosing solar power cables designed with non-hazardous materials puts an environmentally friendly cable in an environmentally friendly application, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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