insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

Hi, I'm about to help a buddy with his small pv array.
Money for him is super tight right now, so i'm trying to help him where I can. Here is the question;

Can green insulated 6ga ground wire be used by cleaning off the insulation only at the PV module clamping lug (GBL-4DBT)points and the ground rod connection points?
Any codes preventing that use?

Reason is that I have 400ft of 6ga stranded insulated ground wire and zero bare stranded wire on hand. Copper wire cost is hurtfull these days, and I can help him out. I should note this is for a small. off grid cabin setup which will not be inspected.

I can't see why not except that maybe bare wire is considered a better exposure to lightning?

It's not practical to try to strip the insulation, as the strands are not twisted inside the insulation jacket.
any thoughts?
Thankyou.

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    I think stranded wire corrodes faster, and strands can fail invisibly in the center. That's why the ask for bare, solid wire.

    Or I'm wrong, and someone else will set this right..
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  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    I didn't think about that, it makes sense, but why do i see so many articles suggusting the use of stranded?
    now that i think about it, most HP code corner stuff does show solid wire....so I guess the brings the next question of type...Solid or Stranded?
    What does the codes state? (I don't have a NEC book)
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    Bare stranded wire is normal for grounding installations. It is used because it is cheaper per foot than its insulated cousin. Electrically it doesn't matter. This is not a lightning protection install, but safety ground. Lightning protection has different rules (which everyone argues about).

    If the insulation will fit through the lug and you can scrape off enough of it to get the connection there's no problem.

    Someone will now start and argument about this. There's nothing like grounding rules/regulations/practices for starting arguments! :p
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?
    James wrote: »
    I didn't think about that, it makes sense, but why do i see so many articles suggusting the use of stranded?
    now that i think about it, most HP code corner stuff does show solid wire....so I guess the brings the next question of type...Solid or Stranded?
    What does the codes state? (I don't have a NEC book)

    http://www.mikeholt.com/videodisplaynew.php?pageid=4137
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    the GBL-4DBT lugs we are using have a kind of open, curved side slot so no problem setting in the stripped section of 6ga. into the slot. This line I'm talking about goes from the array framing straight down to the ground rod, which I thought was a lightning ground.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    there are advantages and disadvantages to solid and stranded and it sometimes depends on the specific application and circumstances. solid is less apt to have its conductor corrode all of the way through, but stranded has some flexibility making breakage due to wind or contact less of a factor. insulation will help as far as contact damage goes, but i'd periodically inspect it for corrosion. that may prove difficult to do as copper always has an outer corroded layer that would conceal what may be under it and it is even harder to see under insulation. do not count on insulation keeping water out as it could wick up through the strands.

    you have stranded #6 then i say use it and keep the insulation on it.
  • jaggedbenjaggedben Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    As far as the code is concerned, I do not think that using stranded wire is a violation. #6 is also pretty substantial, a lot of people use bare #10. I'd say go ahead and use it if you've already got it.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: insulated ground wire for PV array ok?

    thanks, i'm seeing it in many photos of commercial large scale arrays
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