June 20, 2024

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12 AWG Solar PV Multi Conductor Tray Cable: Broken Down

3 min read

The specifications applied to electrical wire and cable can really be a mouthful. Take 12 AWG solar PV multi conductor tray cable, for instance. What does that all mean?

On the one hand, it’s fairly important to know, as each qualifier signifies an electrical cable’s use for a given application – or lack thereof.

Therefore the specification is important. In this instance, this is what it means.

12 AWG
A standard system known as American Wire Gauge, or AWG, is applied to electrical cable sold in the United States and North America.

The AWG size of a wire, which may also simply be referred to simply as the “gauge” gives the nominal thickness of the conductor (the wire itself) not including the insulation. The larger the gauge, the smaller the diameter, and the smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire.

This is important because thicker wire can (all things considered) carry higher voltage and current. Therefore it is imperative to use a cable of the appropriate thickness (or thicker than that) required for the installation.

(Also, 12 AWG wire is .0808” or 2.052mm thick, which, again, does not include the cable’s jacket or insulation, only the wire itself.)

Solar PV
Let’s take a look at another designation of the wire in question, being “solar PV.” As you will shortly see, this is slightly redundant.

Solar wire, also known as solar cable or solar panel cable or wire, is electrical wire intended to be used in solar panel arrays, or for hooking up to inverters.

As you might expect, it must be suitable for installation and use in outdoor locations. As a result, it is imperative that solar panel wire be insulated with weather-resistant and UV-resistant insulation.

As for “PV” that simply stands for “photovoltaic” another term commonly applied to solar arrays. In this instance “solar” and “photovoltaic” effectively signify the same thing.

Multi Conductor
Multi conductor means that there is more than one conductor under the cable’s outer insulation. These cables perform different functions. For instance, one of the most basic multi-conductor arrays is one in which there is a black, red, and bare copper wire under one communal sheath. In that configuration, the black wire is the lead wire, the red (or white) wire is the neutral wire, and the bare copper is the ground.

That is, however, only one example, but there are many others. Sometimes, multiple conductors are housed within a single sheath for the purpose of running multiple wires to control communications circuits while limiting the cable clutter.

Tray Cable
The last designation of importance here is given by the qualifier “tray cable.” Tray cable is, simply, cable that is approved for installation in cable trays and not just in conduit.

Cable trays are open “trays” that serve as an alternative to enclosed cable conduits. Installing cable in trays is much more economical than conduit installation and makes it much easier to inspect, assess, and maintain cable.

Moreover, cable trays allow for superior heat dissipation when compared to conduit, though they don’t do as good a job of shielding against electromagnetic interference.

Where to Get Quality 12 AWG Solar PV Multi Conductor Tray Cable Online
Looking for high-quality 12 AWG solar PV multi-conductor tray cable for your business’s solar array? Get it online at EWCS Wire. They carry a wide range of high-quality electrical wire and cable (including wire and cable for specialty applications) and offer competitive prices and excellent service. If you have any questions before buying, you can get in touch with them at Sales@EWCSWire.com.

For more information about Electrical Wire and Welding Cable Please visit: Electrical Wire & Cable Specialists.

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